Tarun Reflex

August 24, 2008

Beijing Olympics Ends, Baton Passing to London

The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing are ending Sunday with an elaborate closing ceremony including fireworks, musical performances and a cast of thousands.

Hundreds of dancers, acrobats and drummers helped kick off the final ceremony, directed by Oscar-nominated Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou.

Other highlights are to include a duet by tenor Placido Domingo and Chinese soprano Song Zuying, as well as a display by several hundred martial artists.

Although criticism of China’s human rights was persistent on the sidelines, Beijing has been praised for its flawless handling of the logistics for the games.  China also led the competition with total gold medals (51).

The United States won the most medals overall – 110, China came in second with 100, and Russia was third with 72 medals.This Olympic was special for India with its first individual Gold medal won by Abhinav Bindra and two Bronze.

The next Olympic host – London – is expected to put on an eight minute show part way through the closing celebration.

During Britain’s segment, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and British singer Leona Lewis will perform.

Afterwards, British football (soccer) star David Beckham will kick a ball out into the crowd from the top of red double-decker bus.

At its climax, Beijing’s mayor will hand an Olympic torch to his London counterpart – Boris Johnson.  London is to host the 2012 Olympic Games.
“We will not compete with the (Chinese) ceremony, it will be simple, youthful, athletic, loud and proud like London, entertaining and fun,” said Mr Bill Morris, Culture, Events and Education chief of the 2012 London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), at a media conference. Chairman of the LOCOG Sebastian Coe said the handover will mark the start of Britain’s four-year “cultural Olympiad”.

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