To say that the London 2012 Paralympic Games went out with a bang is something of an understatement. Headlined by Coldplay, and featuring Rihanna and Jay Z, the Closing Ceremony, entitled “Festival of the Flame” was a spectacular technological feat of such artistic genius that no single superlative will do. I’ve watched all three previous Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies on television, but nothing can ever prepare you for how different, how utterly awe-inspiring these ceremonies are when you’re sat in that magnificent stadium.
In front of me the incredibly well-designed LED lighting affixed to each seat glowed with such vibrant multi-pictorial technologically unfathomable brilliance when lit as a whole (all 800,000 odd lights are controlled by a single computer, which uses the lights like pixels to create huge moving images around the stadium) that my brain could barely keep up with the sensation offered up to it for interpretation by my wide incredulous eyes. Underneath, the music vibrated with such depth of base, and the crowd cheered with such a resounding harmony that I became utterly immersed in this spectacle, at one with its brilliance.
The innovation of the lighting, the use of the audience as part of an every changing theatre set, of eccentrically designed mechanical creatures, of fantastical costumes, of feathered characters falling from the air bringing with them candelabras dazzling above the stadium like the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles – everything tantalized the senses in its originality, wonder and vibrancy. I left utterly stunned, in awe of London, of spectacle, of theatre and again of the superiority of British culture and design which worked in perfect union with our heroic athletes to present to the world the best Olympics and Paralympics ever.
I can say no more. Take a look at my photos. Sadly I was not well equipped with a powerful zoom or a camera well suited to nighttime and plenty of activity in low light. But hopefully these photos will go some way in demonstrating just how dazzling a show this was.
- Paralympics closing ceremony: an emotional and fiery finale (guardian.co.uk)
- The London 2012 party ends! Relive the Paralympics 2012 Closing Ceremony with our live blog (mirror.co.uk)
- Licence to thrill: The London 2012 Paralympic Experience (normsonline.wordpress.com)
- The Daily Sketch: Paralympic Norms at London 2012 (normsonline.wordpress.com)
- London 2012 – a city celebrates (normsonline.wordpress.com)