Part III 2012 London Olympics: The Final CLOSING CEREMONIES Week
The 2012 Summer Olympics come to their conclusion this weekend, and the 10,000 athletes from 200 national Olympic committees around the globe who have gathered in London for the 17-day event will soon be returning home. Collected here are some small glimpses of the final week of the games -- moments of triumph, exhaustion, dejection, celebration, and much more.
Germany's Ariane Friedrich, after a successful attempt during the women's high jump qualification at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 9, 2012. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
Germany's Ariane Friedrich, after a successful attempt during the women's high jump qualification at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 9, 2012. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
Belgium's Simon De Cuyper in the men's triathlon final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Hyde Park, on August 7, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
Allyson Felix of the U.S. wins the women's 200m final at the Olympic Stadium, on August 8, 2012. (Reuters/Eddie Keogh) #
Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil, rides his horse Rebozo in the equestrian show jumping competition in London, on August 6, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman) #
United States' Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrates with her boys Joey and Sundance after winning the women's gold medal beach volleyball match, on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #
Serbia's Marko Novakovic celebrates his third place finish in a men's kayak single 200m semifinal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, on August 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Armando Franca) #
Belarus' Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova competes in the women's long jump final in the Olympic Stadium, on August 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
China's Ruixue Jing (left) fights with North Korea's Un Gyong Choe in the Women's 63Kg Greco-Roman wrestling at the ExCel venue, on August 8, 2012. (Reuters/Toru Hanai) #
Hamilton Sabot of France on the parallel bars during the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Parallel Bars final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena, on August 7, 2012. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) #
Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia celebrates after winning bronze in the Women's 10m Platform Diving Final at the Aquatics Center in London, on August 9, 2012. The 19-year-old diver will bring home Malaysia's first ever Olympic diving medal. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images) #
Pawel Rakoczy of Poland in the Men's Javelin Throw Qualifications at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) #
Gold medalist Katie Taylor of Ireland celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Women's Light (60kg) Boxing final at ExCeL in London, on August 9, 2012. (Scott Heavey/Getty Images) #
Paola Espinosa Sanchez of Mexico enters the pool during the women's 10-meter platform diving semifinal at the Aquatics Center in the Olympic Park, on August 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) #
Norway celebrates victory over Korea in the Women's Handball Semifinal at the Basketball Arena on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) #
Germany's Robert Harting celebrates after winning the men's discus throw final at the Olympic Stadium, on August 7, 2012. Harting won gold ahead of Iran's Ehsan Hadadi who took silver and Estonia's Gerd Kanter who won bronze. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
Swimmers in the men's 10-kilometer swimming marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics, on Friday, August 10, 2012 in London. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) #
Gabrielle Douglas of the U.S. falls during the women's gymnastics balance beam final in the North Greenwich Arena, on August 7, 2012. (Reuters/Brian Snyder) #
Riders take a jump in the men's BMX quarter-final run at the BMX Track in the Olympic Park, on August 9, 2012. (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini) #
Gold medalist Allyson Felix of the United States poses on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's 200m at Olympic Stadium in London, on August 9, 2012. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) #
Katie Bell of the United States dives in the women's 10-meter platform diving semifinal at the Aquatics Center in Olympic Park, on August 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) #
South Korea's Kim Bok-yung is stopped by Russia's Liudmila Bodnieva and Russia's Ekaterina Davydenko during their women's handball quarterfinal match, on August 7, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
USA's Nicholas Long (64), Switzerland's Roger Rinderknecht (13), Italy's Manuel de Vecchi (28), and Argentine's Ernesto Pizarro (322) crash during the men's BMX heats at the BMX venue in Olympic Park in London, on August 9, 2012. (Carle de Souza/AFP/Getty Images) #
China's Deng Linlin leaps during the women's gymnastics balance beam final in the North Greenwich Arena, on August 7, 2012. (Reuters/Mike Blake) #
Turkey's Merve Aydin cries after she finished last in her women's 800m round 1 heat in the Olympic Stadium, on August 8, 2012. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson) #
Italy's Josefa Idem, on her way to winning a women's kayak single 500m semifinal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, , on August 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) #
Jamaica's Usain Bolt, second left, reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the men's 200-meter final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, on August 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) #
Playing around, Jamaica's Usain Bolt takes pictures with a photographer's camera after winning the men's 200m final at the Olympic Stadium, on August 9, 2012. (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini) #
Suvi Mikkonen of Finland (left) fights Diana Lopez of the United States during the Women's -57kg Taekwondo repechage, on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Hannah Johnston/Getty Images) #
Gold medalists Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page of Australia celebrate with silver medalists Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell of Great Britain in the water following the Men's 470 Sailing at the Weymouth & Portland Venue at Weymouth Harbour, on August 10, 2012. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) #
Netherlands' Eva de Goede watches from behind post during a penalty corner at their women's semifinal hockey match against New Zealand at the Riverbank Arena, on August 8, 2012. (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett) #
Ashton Eaton of the United States readies for a shot put throw in the Men's Decathlon in the Olympic Stadium, on August 8, 2012 in London. (Stu Forster/Getty Images) #
Gold Medal winner Ashton Eaton of the U.S. (center) poses with fellow competitors after winning the 2012 Olympic men's decathlon, on August 9, 2012. (Reuters/Phil Noble) #
Canada competes in the Women's Teams Synchronized Swimming Technical Routine at the Aquatics Center in London, on August 9, 2012. (Al Bello/Getty Images) #
Germany's Matthias Steiner is injured while his weights fall during the men's +105kg Group A snatch weightlifting competition at the ExCel venue, on August 7, 2012. Steiner appears to have escaped serious injury, after being examined and x-rayed. (Reuters/Grigory Dukor) #
Afghanistan's Rohullah Nikpah jumps in celebration after winning his men's -68kg bronze medal taekwondo match against Britain's Martin Stamper at the ExCeL arena, on August 9, 2012. (Reuters/Darren Staples) #
Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar (right), the first female track and field Olympian to represent Saudi Arabia, starts her women's 800m round 1 heat at the Olympic Stadium August 8, 2012. Attar finished well behind the leaders, but expressed great satisfaction with her historic performance. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson) #
Venezuela's Ricardo Roberty Moreno, bloodied during his fight with Guinea-Bissau's Augusto Midana in the 74Kg on the Freestyle wrestling at the ExCel venue, on August 10, 2012. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem) #
Kenya's David Lekuta Rudisha celebrates winning the men's 800-meter semifinal in the Olympic Stadium, on August 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) #
Australia's Melissa Wu in the women's 10m platform final during the diving event, on August 9, 2012 in London. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images) #
South Korea's Kim Hyeon-woo, on the victory stand after defeating Hungary's Tamas Lorincz in their gold medal match in the 66-kg Greco-Roman wrestling competition, on August 7, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) #
Members of the German team compete in the Group All-Around Gymnastics Rhythmic at Wembley Arena, on August 9, 2012 in London. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images) #
Australia's Rhys Howden (left) defends the goal as Australia's goal keeper Joel Dennerley looks on as they met Serbia in their Men's Quarterfinal water polo match, on August 8, 2012. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh) #
Brazil's Juliana celebrates with spectators after winning in their women's beach volleyball bronze medal match against China's Xue Chen and Zhang Xi at the Horse Guards Parade, on August 8, 2012. (Reuters/Marcelo Del Pozo) #
Roseline Filion of Canada dives in the women's 10-meter platform diving semifinal at the Aquatics Center in London, on August 9, 2012. Filion finished tenth in the event. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) #
United States' Ashton Eaton clears the bar in the decathlon pole vault in the Olympic Stadium in London, on August 9, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) #
Team USA's Hope Solo (left), Heather Mitts (2nd left) and their teammates celebrate with their gold medals after defeating Japan in the women's final soccer match at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium, on August 9, 2012. (Reuters/Nigel Roddis) #
The team from China competes in the synchronized swimming team free routine final at the Aquatics Center in the Olympic Park, on August 10, 2012. China took the silver medal in the event. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) #
Russia's Natalya Antyukh celebrates after winning the women's 400m hurdles final at the Olympic Stadium, on August 8, 2012. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson) #
Argentina's Miguel Antonio Correa reacts after competing in the men's kayak double (K2) 200m semifinal at the Eton Dorney, on August 10, 2012. (Reuters/Darren Whiteside) #
Spain's Viran Morros de Argila, covers his face after his team lost to France in their men's handball quarterfinal match, on August 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) #
A member of staff loads javelins thrown by athletes into a radio controlled Mini at Olympic Stadium, on August 9, 2012 in London. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) #
Russia's Natalia Vorobieva celebrates after defeating Bulgaria's Stanka Zlateva Hristova in their Women's 72kg Freestyle gold medal match on August 9, 2012. (Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images) #
Australia's Sally Pearson (front left) crosses the finish line to win gold ahead of United States' Dawn Harper (front right) in the women's 100-meter hurdles final in the Olympic Stadium in London, on August 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
Japan's Hitomi Obara weeps on the podium after winning the Women's 48Kg Greco-Roman wrestling at the ExCel venue, on August 8, 2012. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj) #
Great Britain's Luke Campbell, right, and Japan's Shimizu Satoshi walk off together after their men's semifinal bantam weight 56-kg boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, on August 10, 2012, in London. Campbell won the match with a score of 20-11. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Last night in London, thousands of fans gathered in Olympic Stadium for the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 games. The spectacular show kicked off with fireworks and rolled into a series of performances by British pop stars from the past six decades, including Brian May, The Who, Blur, and George Michael. Even John Lennon and Freddie Mercury made posthumous appearances via video. Brazil gave a preview performance of things to come in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Games Organizing Committee, praised the execution of this year's summer games, saying, "When our time came, Britain, we did it right."
British prima ballerina Darcey Bussell flies into London's Olympic Stadium on a flaming phoenix during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)
British prima ballerina Darcey Bussell flies into London's Olympic Stadium on a flaming phoenix during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)
Fans take pictures in the Olympic Stadium right before the start of the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) #
Fireworks explode over the Olympic Stadium during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
Timothy Spall plays the role of Winston Churchill during a theatrical piece at the Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch) #
British band Madness during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics,on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
The Olympic flame burns for a few minutes more, before being extinguished during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Pascal Lauener) #
A overhead view of Olympic Stadium, during the Closing Ceremony on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski) #
Artists perform during the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images) #
The Pet Shop Boys perform "West End Girls" in Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) #
Japanese team members parade past as all of the Olympic athletes enter the stadium, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
Athletes celebrate during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #
Illuminated Olympic rings float near the Houses of Parliament as part of the festivities for the London 2012 Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
A giant sculpture of the face of John Lennon is assembled from pieces onstage during a performance of Lennon's "Imagine" in Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Paul Gilham/Getty Images) #
Singer George Michael performs "Freedom 90" in the Closing Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth) #
Crowd-control volunteers wear hats with functional light bulbs in London's Olympic stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images) #
British model Kate Moss poses onstage during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
Athletes react as confetti rains down on them during the Closing Ceremony, on August 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
DJ Fatboy Slim performs atop a psychedelic bus transformed into a massive translucent octopus in the Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/David Gray) #
British singer Jessie J performs "Price Tag" during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #
Mexican athletes parade into Olympic stadium in London, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Singer Annie Lennox performs atop a dark skeletal ship during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Gary Hershorn) #
British band The Spice Girls make a reunion performance in London's Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
"Posh Spice" Victoria Beckham of The Spice Girls performs on top of a London taxi during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch) #
Monty Python's Eric Idle enters the stage to perform "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Marina Alabau Neira of Spain, gold medalist in the women's RS:X Sailing, holds up her medal during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) #
Muse's singer Matt Bellamy performs in the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Pyrotechnics illuminate the sky above the Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) #
Brian May of Queen performs with Jessie J during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012 in London. (Julian Finney/Getty Images) #
The Olympic flag is lowered and carried out of the stadium during the Closing Ceremony in London on August 12, 2012. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images) #
Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro, waves the Olympic flag after receiving it from IOC President Jacques Rogge during the ceremonial handing over of the Olympic flag at the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Michael Regan/Pool) #
A Brazilian artist performs in a segment previewing Rio 2016 at the Olympic stadium in London on August 12, 2012. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) #
A performer arrives onstage in a tribute to Brazil, next site of the summer games, during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth) #
Brazilian artists perform in the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Antonin Thuillier/AFP/Getty Images) #
Brazil's former football star Pele appears in a tribute to Brazil during the Closing Ceremony in London, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Brazilian artists perform during the Rio de Janeiro handover in Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Hannah Johnston/Getty Images) #
The petals of the Olympic Cauldron are lowered during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) #
British prima ballerina Darcey Bussell (left) approaches the Olympic flame just before it is extinguished in Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Gary Hershorn) #
A phoenix rises above the just-extinguished Olympic flame in Olympic stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images) #
Fireworks explode over the Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Pascal Lauener) #
Fans throng around Mo Farah, British gold medalist in the men's 10,000-meter and 5000-meter events, as he attends the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
Fireworks erupt above London's Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) #
The Who guitarist Pete Townshend, left, and singer Roger Daltrey perform in the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) #
Portugal's Nuno Delgado, right, dances with performers in London's Olympic Stadium, on August 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
Damon Albarn from the British band Blur performs as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games closing celebrations at Hyde Park, London, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Ki Price) #
Spectators leave the stadium after the Closing Ceremony, on August 13, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #
Two athletes hug at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
The audience at the Olympics closing ceremony were treated to a taste of Britain's comedy heritage tonight when Monty Python star Eric Idle appeared onstage.
The actor led the 80,000-strong crowd through a singalong rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, while a bizarre troupe of dancers performed around him.
They included jigging Morris Dancers, a choir of rugby players and skating nuns and when the song finished, a human cannonball was launched across the stadium.
He was followed by a performance by pop icons Queen, including vocals from Jessie J and from beyond the grave, by the band's late singer Freddie Mercury.
Comedy legend: Monty Python star Eric Idle appears at the Closing Ceremony to lead the audience through a singalong of his hit Always Look On The Bright Side of Life
Finale: A heartstopping array of colours zigzag through the night sky above the Olympic Park as fireworks conclude the London 2012 Olympic Games
Alight: Fireworks explode into the London night sky as the Olympic closing ceremony comes to a spectacular end
Inside the stadium, audience members and athletes look on as the Olympic Park is illuminated by a breathtaking display
It's over: Fireworks light up the Olympic Village in Stratford, east London as London 2012 draws to an emotional close
Tickertape: Athletes react as confetti rains down on them during the Closing Ceremony
Rock behemoths: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who headline the Olympic Closing ceremony with a medley of their biggest hits, including Baba O'Reilly
Take That: After much speculation over whether they would perform or not after Gary Barlow's tragic loss of his stillborn daughter, Take That - minus Robbie Williams whose wife is due to give birth - took to the stage with hit single Rule The World
As the flames in the Olympic cauldron get weaker, the phoenix flies higher over the crowd in the stadium below
Phoenix from the flames: As the Olympic flame died, it was replaced by a Phoenix which rose above the stadium
As the cauldron separated, the Olympic flame slowly faded until it was no more and the Games was officially over
Artists from the Royal Ballet, including British ballerina Darcy Bussell, perform as the Phoenix descends from the roof of the Olympic Stadium
Football superstar: Pele appears on stage, wearing Brazilian colours, for a performance with former street cleaner Renato Sorriso
Ready for Rio: Brazilian performers give the world a taste of what to expect when the Games moves to Rio de Janeiro in 2016
Proud: Locog chairman Lord Coe, right, delivers a speech as IOC President Jacques Rogge watches during the Closing Ceremony
London mayor Boris Johnson passes the Olympic Flag to Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, helped by IOC president Jacques Rogge
End of an era: The Olympic flag is lowered by representatives from the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force
Brian May of Queen performs together with Jessie J during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games
From beyond the grave: The late Freddie Mercury, on a giant screen, leads Queen out onstage for their performance at the closing ceremony
The best of Britain's past and present music scene partied with volunteers, athletes and the world as London 2012 came to a breathtaking close tonight.
The Spice Girls, Madness, Queen, Take That and Annie Lennox took to the stage in a symphony of British music.
Aimed at celebrating one of Britain's strongest cultural exports over the last 50 years, the musical extravaganza marked the end of the country's most successful Games in more than a century.
Evoking images of the past from Winston Churchill and Edward Elgar, through the psychedelic 60s to the highs and lows of the Games, the closing ceremony culminated with a glimpse of the carnival that awaits in Rio in four years' time.
A galaxy of stars including the Pet Shop Boys, Kaiser Chiefs, George Michael, Tinie Tempah and Jessie J, along with faces such as Kate Moss, Russell Brand, Julian Lloyd Webber, Naomi Campbell and Darcey Bussell built up to the show's climax and The Who.
Muse's guitar player Matthew Bellamy joins a starstudded list of performers at the Olympic Closing Ceremony
Monty Python's Eric Idle tussles with a band of morris dancers as he performs to the 80,000-strong crowd inside the Olympic Stadium
Heavenly: Nun and angels form the backdrop for Monty Python star Eric Idle's Closing Ceremony performance
A brave performer is shot from a cannonball during Idle's sketch, a nod to Britain's rich comic history
Indie icon: Liam Gallagher and his band Beady eye followed The Spice Girls with a performance of Oasis number one hit Wonderwall
Spice up the stage: The Spice Girls reformed to perform a spectacular set on the top of black London taxis at the closing ceremony
Traditionally, the closing ceremony is a chance to celebrate what the athletes have achieved, with Lord Coe describing the night as a time to "party, party, party."
Entering the Olympic Stadium, the audience was treated to a vision of working London wrapped in newspaper as they were taken to the heart of the capital's busy rush hour.
As well as typically rainy weather forecasts and stocks and shares, the reams of print celebrated British literary greats from the earliest surviving Anglo-Saxon poetry to current poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, with extracts from Shakespeare and Milton along the way.
A series of ramps - covering the track where Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis made history - formed a black and white Union Jack, the first of many versions of the flag to feature in the extravaganza.
Unwrapped on a newspaper rubbish truck, singer Emeli Sande, who performed in the opening ceremony, delighted the crowds with hit song Read All About It.
Percussion group Stomp emerged to swing from the scaffolding, playing models of the capital's landmarks including Big Ben and the London Eye as if they were instruments.
Supermodel: As the stadium is turned into a giant catwalk, London-born model Kate Moss appears wearing a gold Alexander McQueen dress
Shimmering: Naomi Campbell, draped in gold, takes over, strutting in a dazzling gold McQueen dress with a long train
Style: Supermodels Lily Cole, Karen Elson, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell walk the catwalk in a show of British beauty and design
Within moments, The Beatles' hit Because, performed by London gospel choir Urban Voices Collective, merged into Edward Elgar's Salut d'Amour by cellist Julian Lloyd Webber on top of the Royal Albert Hall. As the morning traffic jam came to life, newspaper-clad vehicles from black cabs and vintage cars to folding bikes revved their engines and honked their horns as newspaper-dressed businessmen and women portrayed a busy Monday morning on Waterloo Bridge.
Winston Churchill, played by King's Speech actor Timothy Spall, stood atop Big Ben reciting the same lines from Shakespeare's The Tempest which helped open the Games 16 days ago: "Be not afeard: the isle is full of noises."
As the deafening noise grew to a crescendo, Churchill brought the worldwide audience's focus to the royal box as a fanfare announced the arrival of Prince Harry and International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge.
As Union flags were waved from car windows, the packed stadium was led in the British National Anthem by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Urban Voices Collective.
Arriving in style: Jessie J arrives onstage, performing in the back of a white Rolls Royce
Trio: Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz perform during the closing ceremony
Right here, right now: British DJ and musician Fatboy Slim performed his most famous hits in a giant translucent octopus
Comedy star Russell Brand performs his sketch during the Olympic Games closing ceremony
Russell Brand sings I Am The Walrus aboard a psychedelic tour bus, a nod to the movement in British history notably popular with bands Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Stone Roses
After the armed services raised the flag, printed grey clouds on the stadium floor were pulled back to reveal an artistic explosion of red, white, and blue created by Damien Hirst.
As Michael Caine's classic 1969 film The Italian Job was shown on the screens, the yellow Robin Reliant of Only Fools and Horses fame made an explosive entry, with Batman and Robin staggering from the wreckage in reference to one of the classic British comedy's most famous episodes.
Madness joined the stage with the infectious beat of Our House as the cast ripped newspaper from the cars, revealing bright vehicles with multi-coloured balloons floating from their boots.
Echoing the song's original video, saxophonist Lee Thompson was lifted to play solo high above the track.
A total of 160 guards from the Massed Bands of the Household Division marched behind Madness before playing Blur's Parklife.
The Pet Shop Boys, riding on rickshaws, performed West End Girls, followed by X Factor phenomenon One Direction with their hit What Makes You Beautiful.
In another nod to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, 10 large trucks burst open to reveal street parties representing all walks of London life.
Some 30 gymnasts from Britain's Got Talent troupe Spelbound contorted themselves to illustrate the lyrics of The Beatles' A Day in The Life.
British singer Ed Sheeran performs Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, accompanied by Pink Floyd's Nick Mason (not pictured) Mike Rutherford and The Feeling's Richard Jones
British singer Annie Lennox performs 'Little Bird' aboard a giant wooden gallion during the Closing Ceremony
Mods: The Kaiser Chiefs perform The Who's Pinball Wizardon scooters during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony
Comeback: Pop icon George Michael performed Freedom as well as his new single White Light
The reclusive singer took to the stage to perform for fans and athletes inside the Olympic Stadium
Imagine: A sculpture in the shape of late Beatles band member John Lennon is formed onstage during the Closing Ceremony
John Lennon's face appears on the big screen as a choir of 100 people from Liverpool, where Lennon was born, sing Imagine. The choir includes members of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir and Liverpool Signing choir
Flagbearers from participating nations parade during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games
United nations: Flagbearers take part in the athletes' march during the closing ceremony
Represnting the world: Athletes from the 200 plus nations competing at London 2012 appear in the stadium, waving their nations' flags
Team GB: A British athlete dances with a Union flag as athletes from all over the world parade during the closing ceremony
Team GB: Sailing gold medal winner Ben Ainslie proudly carries the British flag into the Olympic Stadium
Athletes enter the Olympic stadium during the closing ceremony
Ray Davies sings 'Waterloo Sunset', during the Closing Ceremony
Artists arrange white boxes within the Olympic Stadium. The boxes represent the 303 events that took place during London 2012
The boxes form a pyramid in the centre of the stage
As the day drew to a close, The Kinks' frontman Ray Davies arrived in a black cab singing his 1960s hit Waterloo Sunset.
As a funfair scene emerged, a shimmering river of 270 children from 10 schools in the six east London host boroughs weaved its way through the melee to Sande's reprise of Read All About It.
As many of the 10,000 athletes from the 204 nations involved in the Games flooded into the stadium, filling the areas between the ramped stage, they joined hands during Elbow's performance of Open Arms and One Day Like This.Huge cheers greeted British sailor Ben Ainslie as he carried the Union flag into the stadium.
'Wow. This is it... The end,' Ainslie tweeted.
'We should all be very proud to have held the greatest Olympics in modern times. Huge thanks to everyone involved.
Following the flag-bearers, thousands of athletes walked through the spectators, medals round their necks, high-fiving fans and waving to the cameras.
A British military marching band performs Blur song Parklife during the Closing Ceremony
Flying the flag: The bright colours of the Union Jacks being waved and on the set floor provided a sharp contrast to the white and black newspaper print
Bang on: Stomp performs in front of the London skyline stage set
But conscious of the night's tight timings, a series of stage hands clad in black ran alongside the athletes, comically lifting their knees to their chest to hurry them along.
As athletes gathered in the segments between the ramps to the stage, some perched on others' shoulders.
And while the fans eagerly videoed and took photos of their sporting heroes, the athletes could be seen returning the favour, clutching their own cameras to capture the crowd on film.
Billions of viewers were treated to another interpretation of the Union Flag as the athletes, in their national colours, formed a mosh pit around the stage.
White boxes representing the 303 Olympic events formed a pyramid on to which the winners, losers, blood, sweat and tears from London 2012 were projected.
After the traditional men's marathon victory ceremony, the 70,000 volunteer Games Makers were honoured with a shower of petals before darkness and silence descended.
The showcase of British music continued with the voice of Freddie Mercury singing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.
Boy band One Direction perform during the Olympic Closing Ceremony
Neil Tennant, singer of the Pet Shop Boys, performs during the Closing Ceremony
Closing: As the sun sets in London, the Olympic Stadium prepares for the London 2012 closing ceremony
From the darkness along the ramps, a sculpture of John Lennon's face was formed as Imagine was sung by choirs from his birthplace, Liverpool.
George Michael came in singing his 1990s anthem Freedom '90 before segueing into his latest record White Light.
Spotlights then picked out the Kaiser Chiefs playing The Who's Pinball Wizard after a dark blue light descended on the stadium.
As inflatable silver pinballs bounced around the athletes, Kaiser Chief Ricky Wilson joined 50 Mods on scooters for the performance.
A sequence of sound waves were sent around the stadium on more than 70,000 pixel screens next to each seat before floating up to form images of David Bowie on the screens.
A compilation in homage to Bowie culminated in Fashion before stunning billboard images of nine British supermodels preceded their entrance.
As the drapes were pulled off, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, wearing Alexander McQueen, strutted along shimmering catwalks forming the Union Jack.
With the Olympic cauldron shrouded in smoke, Annie Lennox emerged on the figurehead of a ghost galleon to perform Little Bird.
As the ship faded back into the smoke, two men in 1970s business suits walked a tightrope high above the field of play before shaking hands and bursting into flames, recreating the album cover of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here.
Ed Sheeran was joined by original Floyd drummer Nick Mason, The Feeling's Richard Jones and Genesis founder Mike Rutherford for the hit.
As segments of daily British life were shown to the crowds, comedian Russell Brand arrived on a psychedelic tour bus performing Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The Beatles' I Am The Walrus with string quartet Bond.
The bus transformed into a fluorescent 50m octopus as Fatboy Slim rose from its head, spinning his decks as dancers performed to his hits Right Here, Right Now and The Rockafeller Skank.
Beginning of the end: Following on from Kenneth Brannagh's turn in the Opening Ceremony, actor Timothy Spall - in character as Winston Churchill - also read lines from Shakespeare's The Tempest to start the evening
Actor Timothy Spall poses as Sir Winston Churchill atop Big Ben, while Julian Lloyd Webber accompanies him on the cello
From classical to pop: An artist plays the cello during the closing ceremony, which celebrated music across the centuries, as well as the decades
From limousines circling the track, Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz emerged singing their respective hits Price Tag, Written in the Stars and Dynamite before joining together for the Bee Gees' disco tune You Should Be Dancing.
After a balletic performance of 10 taxis, five came to life illuminated in baby pink, sporty stripes, posh dynamite, the Union Flag and a scary animal print.
It was, of course, the much-anticipated reunion of the Spice Girls - reformed for one night only to perform Spice Up Your Life and Wannabe from the roofs of the cabs.
Former Oasis star Liam Gallagher continued the run of British classics with his band Beady Eye for the 1990s hit WonderWall.
As Electric Light Orchestra's Mr Blue Sky filled the stadium, home-made flying machines made several attempts to get off the ground as a would-be rocket man played by Monty Python comedian Eric Idle collapsed under the stage, only to return to lead the crowds in a new version of Always Look On The Bright Side of Life.
Joined by a surreal collection of jigging Morris Dancers, a choir of rugby players and skating nuns, a human cannonball was launched across the stadium.
Muse, known for their fascination with outer space, took to the stage next with their London 2012 Olympic song Survival.
Four tipper trucks, driven to centre stage, exploded in a fury of pyrotechnics as their raised tailgates became screens showing footage of Freddie Mercury performing live in 1986 at Wembley Stadium.
With "deyo, deyo" ringing out across the stadium, Queen's Roger Taylor emerged while bandmate Brian May made his way through the crowd performing the guitar solo from Brighton Rock before joining Jessie J for the classic anthem We Will Rock You.
Read all about it: A London street scene was played out - with the whole set wrapped in newspaper
Classic comedy: Del Boy and Rodney's Reliant Robin explodes during the closing ceremony
Only Fools and Horses: Del Boy and Rodney, dressed as Batman and Robin, appear in the stadium
Masters of the House: Madness ¿ led by frontman Suggs ¿ perform Our House during a street party scene
Royal laughs: Prince Harry and Kate Middleton share a joke during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony
As an arrow pointed to Rio de Janeiro, the host city for 2016, the Greek flag was raised in honour of the origins of the Games.
After the Olympic Flag was lowered by members of the armed forces, the Olympic Anthem rang out sung by the London Welsh Male Voice Choir and the London Welsh Rugby Club Choir.
The capital's mayor Boris Johnson had the honour of passing the flag to Mr Rogge, who in turn presented it to Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, each waving the traditional four times.
Celebrating the first time a South American country hosts the Games, a mix of cultures, music and dance marked the handover.
From a solitary street cleaner practising Samba steps, a carnival parade invaded the stage as Brazilian pop singer Marisa Monte entered with a giant gown representing water goddess Yemanja, who is celebrated on New Year's Eve on Copacabana Beach.
Actor-singer Seu Jorge joined an acrobatic group of Capoeira fighters and dancing couples, including model Alessandra Ambrosio, as the whole cast reunited in front of Rio's skyline.
London 2012 chair Sebastian Coe then joined IOC president Jacques Rogge on stage, and addressed the crowd.
The Locog boss said: ‘We lit the flame and we lit up the world. Once again we have shown ourselves worthy. For that I want to say thank you.’
‘Thank you to the people of this country. At our closing ceremony we can say these are a Games by everyone.’
Actors parade around the model of St Paul's wrapped in newsprint, during the opening stages of the closing ceremony
Artists wave Union Jack flags as they perform with cars, wrapped in newspaper, as the closing ceremony gets underway
Back on song: Emeli Sande, who sang Abide With Me during the Opening Ceremony, performs on the newspaper-covered stage
The colourful London landscape takes life in the centre of the Olympic Stadium, with Tower Bridge, the London Eye and the Gerkin taking centre-stage
CLOSING CEREMONY BY NUMBERS
2 cannons used during the closing ceremony.
4 tipper trucks used in one section of the extravaganza.
6 flying machines featured in the show.
20 large inflatable silver pinballs were released among the athletes.
At least 40 members of gymnastics troupe Spelbound.
40 hours three people spent lining up the images to the irregular shape of the seating bowls.
50 scooters pimped up by the cast themselves.
50, the diameter in metres of the octopus when fully extended.
101 fragments used to create the face of John Lennon.
108 vehicles in the first scene - 10 black cabs, 10 wedding cars, 10 vintage cars, 10 sports cars, 10 modern cars, 10 cars with trailers, 10 trucks, 10 mopeds, four white vans, eight bikes, eight folding bikes, and eight skateboards.
270 children formed the River Thames from 10 schools.
3,500 in the cast of the London 2012 closing ceremony.
5,600 square metres - the specially commissioned floor covering created by Damien Hirst.
10,000 lights used to transform the newsprint city into a luminous fun fair in the fairground scene.
70,799 small panels mounted between the seats to create the audience pixel screen, each one with nine LED pixels.
During a round of appreciation he offered his gratitude to the Olympic volunteers who gave their time ‘energy and goodwill, and ‘to the IOC who have been with us every step of the way.’
After thanking the athletes and before introducing IOC President Jacques Rogge, he added: ‘When our time came Britain we did it right – thank you.’
Rogge added: 'These were happy and glorious Games. The legacy of the Games of the XXX Olympiad will become clear in many ways.
'Concrete improvements in infrastructure will benefit the host nation for years to come.
'The human legacy will reach every region of the world.
'Many young people will be inspired to take up a sport or to pursue their dreams.'
Rogge said the 17 days of the Olympics had been "unforgettable" and he paid tribute to London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe.
'The organising committee, well supported by the public authorities, did a superb job," he said.
'We will never forget the smiles, the kindness and the support of the wonderful volunteers, the much-needed heroes of these Games.
'You, the spectators and the public, provided the soundtrack for these Games.
'Your enthusiastic cheers energised the competitors and brought a festive spirit to every Olympic venue.
'You have shown the world the best of British hospitality.'
Dead on midnight the flame that reached all corners of the UK over 70 days was extinguished.
As the dying flame flickered in the Olympic cauldron, a new flame emerged in the form of a phoenix suspended above the audience.
After much speculation over whether they would perform or not after Gary Barlow's tragic loss of his stillborn daughter, Take That - minus Robbie Williams whose wife is due to give birth - took to the stage with hit single Rule The World.
As they left the stage, the flaming figure of prima ballerina Darcey Bussell descended on the stadium from its roof, joining more than 200 ballerinas dancing to David Arnold's Spirit of the Flame.
After performing a mesmerising dance representing the fire in the torch, they moved towards the cauldron, bowing down below it.
As the stadium became a sea of red, white and blue for the grand finale, The Who burst into Baba O'Riley and See Me, Feel Me as a montage of faces, including volunteers, fans, security guards, youngsters and troops flashed across the screens.
Building to its climax, the faces multiplied, expressing a sense of unity in the UK and beyond.
Bussell then led the Brazilian performers in a procession around the stadium.
Rock superstars The Who ended the night with a performance of Baba Reilly and a medley of their other hits, as a fireworks lit up the London sky.
And the Games were over.
80,000 people in the Olympic Stadium counted down to the beginning of the opening ceremony, to the chimes of a replica of Big Ben
Scaled-down London! Landmarks of the capital make up the set for the Closing Ceremony