London 2012 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony
The London 2012 Closing Ceremony was held at the Olympic Stadium in London on 9 September 2012 at 20:00 BST. It was broadcast of Channel 4 with an audience of roughly 7.7 million viewers. With performances by Coldplay and the British Paraorchestra, it was directed by Kim Gavin, who had also worked on the Opening Ceremony
After the athletes arrived the Olympic Stadium and taken their seats, a group of performers called “Dreamers” entered the stadium on silver vehicles that also served as instruments. They inflated three balloons, forming the Agitos, the logo of the International Paralympic Committee.
Following this pre-Ceremony and after the other spectators had taken their seats, a film was shown depicting people from all over the world travelling towards London and the Olympic Stadium, using vehicles inspired by the aesthetics of Steampunk. A group of “Wind Gremlins” on motorbikes then entered the stadium, rousing the “Dreamers” from the pre-Ceremony and causing one of the Agitos balloons to fly away.
Next, an equine vehicle entered the stadium, with a machine called Human Endeavour following it. A flagpole was erected in the middle of the stadium, with Captain Luke Sinnott, a prospective Paralympian, climbing it to showcase human endeavour. As he reached the top of the flagpole, Prince Edward and Sir Philip Craven arrived at the stadium in a vehicle built from a 1930s automobile and a military vehicle, as Lissa Hermanns, a blind and autistic singer, performed the British National Anthem.
The next programme point, known as the Heart of Many Nations, featured narration by the Reader, who detailed the ideas behind the “Festival of the Flame”. This was followed by the entrance of the flags of the participating nations into the stadium, lined up in the shape of a heart and with pyrotechnics outlining the field. After this ceremony, the Reader recited parts of a ritual by the neo-pagan British Druid Order, opening up the idea of nature versus technology, which is driven home by the next event known as “Truck Invasion”, with performers entering the stadium in vehicles resembling different animals and forms, with the performers ultimately gathering around the centre stage, which is formed like a sun dial.
After these performances, the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award was awarded to Kenya’s Mary Nakhumicha Zakayo and Ireland’s Michael McKillop. After the awards ceremony, six new members of the IPC Athlete Council were introduced and proceeded to thank the volunteers on behalf of all athletes and the IPC.
The Festival of the Flame, which was introduced by the Reader before, began with a concert by Coldplay on the centre stage. With performances grouped to correspond with the four seasons, beginning with Autumn and ending with Summer, they were supported by dance groups and performances from the United Kingdom, dancing, juggling and ice-skating, featuring guest musicians both with and without impairments, in tune with the seasons.
Afterwards, the handover from London to Rio de Janeiro took place, with a presentation called “Joy” showcasing Brazilian dance and culture, ending in fireworks. Accompanied by speeches held by Seb Coe and Sir Philip Craven, the Paralympic Cauldron was extinguished except for one petal, from which the fire was passed on to performers on the field, forming the Eternal Flame. To end the London Paralympics Closing Ceremony, a montage of the highlights of the London 2012 Paralympic Games was shown on screen, set to music by Coldplay.