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Closing ceremony at the Beijing National Stadium

The 2008 Summer Olympics closing ceremony was held at the Beijing National Stadiummarker, also known as the Bird's Nest. Full Coverage: The Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic GamesThe Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games ( (August 24, 2008) (Retrieved on August 24, 2008) It was directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou and began at 8:00 pm China Standard Time (UTC+8) on August 24, 2008. The number 8 is associated with prosperity and confidence in Chinese culture.

The musical acts included:

The Ceremony also included the handover of the games from Beijing to Londonmarker. Guo Jinlong, the Mayor of Beijing, handed over the Olympic flag to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and there was a performance organized by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG).

Lighting Designer Durham Marenghi illuminated the Handover in Beijing, with lighting programmed by Tim Routledge (who was in fact hidden in the London Bus)

While the opening ceremony was described as an artistic and serious introduction of China's ancient past, the closing ceremony was described by Western media as "much more lighthearted", "silly" and "fun" than the opening ceremony.

By the end of the 16 days of NBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics in the United States, it had also become the most-watched U.S. television event of all time, with over 211 million viewers tuned in to the Olympics on NBC according to the Nielsen Media Research; this is 2 million more than the 1996 Atlanta Games, the previous all-time record-holder.

Attending heads of state and dignitaries

The closing ceremony was attended by many heads of state and dignitaries including Chinese President Hu Jintao, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Anne, Princess Royal, Prime Minister of Finland Matti Vanhanen, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, Prime Minister of Lithuania Gediminas Kirkilas, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis, Mongolian Prime Minister Sanj Bayar, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Nepali Prime Minister Prachanda, Australian Governor-General Michael Jeffery, and U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Sequence of events

  • Fireworks prelude, including a firework countdown above the National Stadium itself, at 8:00PM CST.
  • Introduction of IOC members and Hu Jintao.
  • Raising of the Chinese national flag, to the Chinese national anthem, March of the Volunteers.
  • Mass games performance by a troupe of drummers.
  • Orange sparkling fireworks.
  • Performers in translucent costumes, bocking stilts and some riding on illuminated monowheels.
  • Flag bearers enter the stadium.
  • Athletes enter the stadium.
  • Athletes gather in the stadium, with drumming throughout the precession.
  • Presentation of the final men's marathon medals; including the national anthem of Kenyamarker: Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu, for the gold medallist Samuel Wanjiru.
  • Presentation of flowers to twelve volunteers by newly elected athlete representatives to the IOCmarker Athlete Commission.
  • Raising of the Greek national flag, to the Greek national anthem, Hymn to Liberty.
  • Welcoming of the President of the BOCOG, Liu Qi, and the IOCmarker President, Jacques Rogge.
  • Speech by Liu Qi in Mandarin Chinese, concluding by thanking everyone.
  • Speech by the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, in English, French and concluding in Mandarin, declaring the Beijing Games "truly exceptional". He closes the Games, and bids (in French) for "the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in London".
  • Raising of the Union Flag, to the national anthem of the United Kingdommarker, "God Save the Queen" in a specially commissioned version by Philip Sheppard.
  • Lowering of the Olympic Flag and singing of the Olympic Anthem. The Olympic flag will be raised again at the next Winter Olympic games in Vancouvermarker; opening ceremony scheduled for February 12, 2010.
  • Fireworks representing the Olympic rings.
  • Returning of the Olympic Flag by the Mayor of Beijing Guo Jinlong to Jacques Rogge, in turn presenting it to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
  • Eight minutes of presentation of the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Procession of performers on an airport terminal staircase, with events during the 2008 Olympics on-screen.
  • Extinguishing of the Olympic Flame, following a recitation of the 16 days of Olympic competition and of the Ancient Greek competition.
  • Performers on a tall pillar (called the memory tower), waving arms and symbolising the Olympic flame, eternally unextinguished. Performers group to form Chrysanthemums, with hurdle runners on top of the pillar. Performers then reclimb the pillar, which is then covered in huge red streamers. Roses are formed along with athletes below (with pillar as a stigma), the athlete crowds as petals. Red streamers are levitated upward and reveal the performers arranged in the form of Dancing Beijing, the 2008 Olympic logo.
  • Fireworks.
  • Song "Beijing Beijing, I Love Beijing" (Běijīng Běijīng, Wǒ Ài Běijīng) by Chinese singer Tan Jing, Hong Kong singer Kelly Chen, Han Xue, Taiwanese-American singer Leehom Wang and Korean singer Rain. Erhu instrumental; acrobats leap from the tower by wire.
  • A group of seven Chinese folk singers Zhang Ye, Tang Can, Zhang Yan, Chen Si Si, Lei Jia, Wang Li Da, and Ha Hui performed Chinese folk song "The Moon is Bright Tonight".
  • Opera tenor Plácido Domingo and Chinese singer Song Zuying sing "Ài de Huǒyàn (The Flame of Love)" (composed by Bian Liunian and Klaus Badelt).
  • Song "Tomorrow's World".
  • Song "Please Stay, Guests from Afar" led by Chinese stars such as Wei Wei, Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Karen Mok, Joey Yung, Emil Chau and many other singers along with many others representing the 56 ethnic groups of modern China.
  • Song "Surpass It"
  • Fireworks, pyrotechnics, and ethnic dancing.
  • Farewells.
  • Conclusion of ceremony at 9:55 pm CST.

See also


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