Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Associated Press
LONDON — British rock stars are seizing the stage to close the Olympics with an extravaganza that promises to keep a worldwide audience entertained well into the night – and dancing all the way to Rio.
The Spice Girls and the surviving members of The Who and Queen were expected to headline a fun and frivolous closing ceremony, celebrating the remarkable crop of pop icons the host country has given the world for decades.
Artistic director Kim Gavin has promised “the best after-show party that’s ever been,” and as details of the lineup leaked in the British press days ahead of time, there was no reason to doubt him.
The ceremony had something for everyone, from tween girls to 1960s hippies. George Michael, Muse, Fatboy Slim and the One Direction, the British cotton-candy boy band of the moment, were all expected to perform.
The best seats were for the 10,800 Olympic athletes, set to march in as one and form what Gavin has described as a human mosh pit on the field. Queen Elizabeth II, who made a memorable mock parachute entrance at the opening ceremony, will be on hand.
Eight minutes have been turned over to Brazil, host of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, which promises an explosion of samba, sequins and Latin cool. Following tradition, the mayor of London will hand the Olympic flag off to his Rio counterpart.
There will also be speeches by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge and London organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe, and the extinguishing of the Olympic flame.