While we aren’t able to provide you with any spoilers like we did for the opening ceremony, executive vice president of NBC Olympics David Neal made his way to a college campus 90 minutes west of Beijing where secret rehearsals were being conducted and exclaimed, “It’s just unlike any other closing ceremony I’ve ever seen.” While Olympic closing ceremonies in the past are usually “a simple vehicle for extinguishing the Olympic flame and setting the stage for the next games”, China under the charge of creative director Zhang Yimou has pulled out all the stops to “dazzle” the world with glittery shows and a “great deal of entertainment”.
While most of the closing ceremony remains a secret, Andrew Cawthorne of Reuters says English footballer David Beckham will be “kicking a ball into the crowd from a red double-decker bus to symbolise the handover to London.” The eight minute segment from London, host of the 2012 Games, will also feature Michael Phelps, Leona Lewis and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame. Page’s rock classic “Whole Lotta Love” has apparently been deemed too racy by Olympic organisers and had to be amended for the closing ceremony.
Xinhua also reports that viewers can expect a “kungfu display, featuring 350 practitioners from a local martial art school, would be part of the show, in addition to 60 erhu, or Chinese violin, players from eastern province of Jiangsu,” although the cast of 7,000 will not include any of those 15,000 that were involved in the opening ceremony.
For those of you that want to watch the ceremony on Youtube’s dedicated Olympic channel but aren’t able to do so, one geek offers some practical advice how you can get around it by simply removing Youtube’s geolocation cookie.
The ceremony starts at 8pm Beijing time, so remember to tune in!