As it happened: Paralympic closing ceremony

Live coverage of the Paralympic closing ceremony

9 September 2012 Last updated at 23:12

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As it happened

  1. 1930: 

    Good evening and welcome to the Paralympic closing ceremony live text. This is the last formal event of London 2012 as a whole - although tomorrow sees the GB athletes' parade - so it's a night of celebration, tinged with sadness at the end of what organisers, athletes and commentators alike have described as a fantastic Games.

  2. 1932: 

    It's been an outstanding 11 days of Paralympic sport and sell-out crowds have seen records broken every day.

    ParalympicsGB can reflect on an impressive series of results, smashing their target with 120 medals, including 34 golds. The team won more medals across more sports than four years ago in Beijing but had to be content with third in the medal table behind China and Russia.

  3. 1935: 

    Tonight's ceremony is called the Festival of the Flame and the director Kim Gavin says it will celebrate British festivals from ancient and modern times. The audience will be taken on a journey through the seasons, to a live concert from hit band Coldplay.

    The ceremony starts at 20:30 and is being broadcast on Channel 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live.

  4. 1937: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 in the Olympic Stadium

    "The scene is set for a fitting finale to not just London 2012 but also the Paralympic Games. The centre of the Stadium is set out with chairs for the athletes, who have been the stars of these Games, and it is fitting that they will be the centre of attention as they sit and watch the show rather than entering during the middle."

  5. 1940: 

    Servicemen and women from the armed forces will be honoured during the ceremony as will the athletes, officials and volunteers.

  6.  
    Kieron Smith, Carshalton

    emails: The Paralympics has changed my awareness of what is possible for people to achieve. I have been amazed by the challenges that athletes have faced and delivered success. The Games Makers and other volunteers have been awesome. The atmosphere they created was relaxed, welcoming.

  7. 1945: 

    The athletes are already making their way into the stadium - rather than parading as at the Olympic closing ceremony.

    However there will still be flagbearers and that honour for GB goes to two superstars of the Games: cyclist Sarah Storey and wheelchair athlete David Weir who both won four gold medals at this Games - in Weir's case just this morning.

  8. 1951: 

    Jody Cundy has arrived at the Olympic Stadium for the ceremony. The cyclist who had an outburst in the velodrome after being denied a restart said: "The crowds have really made these Games. It may not be my best Games but it's certainly my most memorable."

  9. 1953: 

    Part of the ceremony will focus on a handover to the next host city, Rio which will stage the Games in 2016. With the city already in the spotlight Maddy Savage has been finding out what Brazilian athletes and fans think their country can learn from London 2012, and what it might do differently.

  10. 1954: 

    While we wait for the ceremony to begin at 2030, relive some of the best moments through the eyes of BBC pundits.

  11.  
    Max Neill

    tweets: #Paralympics were awesome, but can they lead 2 real changes in lives of people with disabilities? Will access improve? Will exclusion cease?

  12. 2001: 

    Prime Minister David Cameron:" I think it's been an absolute triumph from start to finish and I'm really proud of the country, not just that we've put on a great show, but we've had these great audiences".

    Mr Cameron, whose disabled son Ivan died in 2009, added: "I think back to Ivan. As every parent, you think about all the things they can't do, but at the Paralympics they are superhuman, you see all the things they can do.

    "It's been a golden summer of British sport, it's given the country a big lift.

    He said it would give momentum to sports participation and the Paralympics had changed perceptions of disabled sport.

  13. 2002: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 in the Olympic Stadium

    "All the athletes are now seated around the Stadium in the area where the field events took place. They are on fold-up chairs around the edge, the sort of chairs you sit on at school plays.

    "Night is falling and it's quite chilly in the Stadium - the crowd are currently being shown a film about Paralympic athletes, with half an hour to go until the official start of the ceremony."

  14. 2005: 

    So how do performers preparing to take part in the ceremony feel? The BBC's School Reporters have been finding out. They're making their nans proud, apparently!

  15.  
    Vriddhi Chopra

    tweets: Atmosphere in the #OlympicStadium is amazing!!

  16. 2014: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 in the Olympic Stadium

    "Some athletes have started a Mexican wave - and now all the stadium lights have been put out. The place is illuminated by flash lights from the crowd. Is the ceremony starting early?

    "Now lights come back on and a vehicle with a big old fashioned listening horn on the back enters centre stage."

  17.  
    Chris Hollins

    tweets: At the Paralympics closing ceremony. Can't believe it's all coming to an end.

  18.  
    Kash, London

    texts: Everyone is constantly praising people who made the Games, how about the 1000s of young G4S security officers who despite being treated not very well by some, risked their own safety and made the Games safe for the rest of us? I think they deserve some credit.

  19. 2020: 

    Mayor of London Boris Johnson says "the hangover (after the Games have finished) won't happen, or at least we can get long-term benefit from this".

    He says he wants to keep the spirit of volunteering alive and will look at whether volunteers can continue to be used at big London events.

    He adds: "We want to see a social and cultural legacy from these Games" and also pledges to carry on "playing wiff waff".

  20.  
    Robbie

    tweets: There are 3 Mexican waves going around - my arms are getting tired

  21. 2025: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 at the Olympic Stadium

    We can hear a helicopter hovering over the Stadium. Maybe it's James Bond and Her Majesty once again....

    The stadium announcer says - "Tonight is full of treats and surprises. We kindly ask that you remain seated throughout the show as the video panels will be operating."

  22.  
    Pete Paphides

    tweets: Can't we refuse to hand the Olympics & Paralympics onto the next country? Everyone seemed to like ours the best. I'm *sure* they'd come back

  23. 2028: 

    So this is it, the Olympic Stadium is centre stage for the last time in this amazing summer of sport and the Paralympic closing ceremony is about to begin.

  24. 2031: 

    The countdown is over and the Festival of the Flame begins with a short film called the Book of Fire which shows a motorcade growing in length as it heads to the Stadium through the streets of London. The music is by David Arnold and is called Welcome.

  25.  
    Lucy Williams

    tweets: Just hanging out with @coldplay * at the Paralympic stadium *oh, and 79,999 other people...

  26. 2033: 

    The convoy arrives in the stadium which is set with three stages: that's the Sundial Stage in the middle of the field of play; Winter Stage in front of the cauldron and the Summer Stage at the other end.

    Over the Summer stage hang giant inflatable crescents forming the Paralympic symbol the Agitos - which means "I move" in Latin. The inflatables are held by a group of characters called Dreamers who are asleep.

  27. 2035: 

    Huge fans mounted on five motorbikes ridden by "Wind Gremlins" are buffeting the dreamers. We're told these gremlins "represent our internal demons who dampen our spirits and put out the fires inside us". Nasty chaps.

  28. 2037: 

    A horse-like vehicle called the Human Endeavour machine has entered the stadium and there's the first of tonight's flames. Members of the Company of Drummers have got firebrands on their backs - well we were promised a Festival of Flame.

  29. 2038: 

    A team from Help for Heroes raise a flag pole and Captain Luke Sinnott begins to climb to the top. He lost both legs and an arm in an IED bomb blast while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

    He is a keen sailor and hopes to represent GB at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. It's also his birthday today - this is quite a party!

  30.  
    Anna Callaghan

    tweets: Looking a bit mad max with the paralympics #closing ceremony

  31. 2039: 

    Not your usual Daimler here, Prince Edward and IPC President Sir Philip Craven enter the stadium now in a specially made vehicle driven by Captain Tony Harris. Capt Harris is also an amputee after being injured in Afghanistan.

  32. 2040: 

    Lissa Hermans, who is blind and autistic, sings the National Anthem from the Sundial Stage. She also released the National Anthem this year to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

  33. 2043: 

    Continuing the military theme, Rory Mackenzie addresses the crowd.

    The South African was serving as a medic with the British Army when he was blown up on patrol in Iraq and lost his right leg. After a long period of rehabilitation he can now walk and has taken up skiing.

  34.  
    Caitlin Moran

    tweets: So screamingly proud of @DavidGArnold for doing the original score for the Paralympics AND Olympics

  35. 2044: 

    Rory Mackenzie's speech is an address to the athletes and spectators, calling on them to unite in peace, hope and celebration.

    He says: "Tonight we bring you the Festival of the Flame, the symbol of the spirit of the Games, which has burned bright at London 2012.

    "Tonight we celebrate that spirit, and although we have many differences, there is one quality we all share, one thing all of us have in common: human spirit."

  36. 2045: 

    "We have all been touched by the triumphs and drama of the Paralympics. Witness to the indomitable human spirit of the athletes.

    "Let the love that the Paralympics has kindled in our hearts burn brightly as we come together as one, for the Festival of the Flame."

  37. 2047: 

    Flag bearers from each of the 164 nations participating in the Paralympics are entering the field of play in the Stadium.

    Wheelchair athlete David Weir and cyclist Sarah Storey, carrying the flag together, are the GB flagbearers. They are the most successful GB athletes at the 2012 Games with four gold medals each. David won his last one only this morning in the T54 marathon.

  38.  
    Dara O Briain

    tweets: Huge congratulations to the Irish Paralympics team! A superb performance, very proud. Have a good homecoming tomorrow...

  39.  
    Jan Fox, Los Angeles

    emails: As a Brit living abroad I am very proud when I read the BBC reports of the Paralympics and what a great success they have been. But here in the US, you would never know the games were taking place as there has been almost no mention of them and certainly no coverage. Personally, I think it is shameful not to cover the games, especially when so many veterans are taking part and there are so many inspiring stories being told.

  40. 2049: 

    The flagbearers have formed a heart in the centre of the Olympic Stadium, with the Sundial Stage in the middle. The music is an instrumental version of Coldplay's Life in Technicolor.

    The heart sets on fire to form a flaming symbol of peace and love.

  41. 2051: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 at the Olympic Stadium

    Artistic director Kim Gavin promised there would be plenty of flames in the show - well he has certainly lived up to that promise in this section.

  42. 2052: 

    In an invocation to the seasons, Rory Mackenzie calls on the spirits of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. Let the festival commence, he says.

  43.  
    Nicky Campbell

    tweets Paralympics - thank you for being amazing.

  44. 2054: 

    No more track and field events here for a while then: flame-throwers are blasting the turf off the stadium floor. Fantastical vehicles start to enter, it's all very steampunk.

  45. 2056: 

    This section is called Truck Invasion and there are 25 vehicles here from five huge trucks to other smaller mashed-up craft including "Hellcopter", "Time Machine", "Clamposarus" and "The Car that had to be Toad". They are the brainchildren of Joe Rush and Mike Patterson who specialise in turning old vehicles into mechanical marvels.

  46.  
    International Paralympic Committee

    tweets: "We have all been touched by the triumphs and dramas of the Paralympics"- Lance Corporal Rory Mackenzie sums it up perfectly #closingceremony

  47. 2058: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 at the Olympic Stadium

    "The smell of cordite fills the air in the stadium while silhouettes of turning clock wheels are projected on to the crowd."

  48. 2102: 

    Phew! That was busy. Now it's a change of pace as it's time for awards and gongs. First, it's the Whang Youn Dai Achievment Award.

    Dr Whang Youn Dai from South Korea, who contracted polio at the age of three, has campaigned throughout her life for the welfare of disabled people.

  49.  
    Jill Wigmore-Welsh

    tweets: Hope my daughter H is able to watch some of the #paralympics closing ceremony from behind the scenes doing security at the #olympic stadium

  50. 2106: 

    The Whang Youn Dai Achievment Award is presented to two athletes who "exemplify the spirit of the Games - to inspire and excite." They are runner Michael McKillop from Ireland and Kenya's Mary Nakhumicha Zakayo.

    Zakayo, who competes in the F57 javelin and shot put, was described by the award adjudicators as "helping to change the face of Paralympic sport in Africa".

  51. 2106: 

    Now the six newly-elected members of the International Paralympic Committee's Athletes' Council are honoured.

  52. 2106: 

    Now it's the turn of awards to honour the 70,000 Games Maker volunteers. Six volunteers step forward to receive flowers from the new IPC Athletes' Council members.

    BBC Ian Westbrook in the stadium says: "Biggest cheer of the night so far as representatives of the Games Maker volunteers step forward on to the stage to receive an award."

  53. 2109: 

    It's Coldplay, people - Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland (lead guitar), Guy Berryman (bass) and Will Champion (drums).

    Chris Martin says when artistic director Kim Gavin came round to ask them to play tonight, "we signed up before he'd even finished the first sentence". They've described being asked to play as a huge honour and say this will be the biggest night of their lives.

  54. 2112: 

    This is their track "Us Against the World", being signed simultaneously by the ceremony cast.

    We're liking the signs for "chaos" and "swirl".

  55. 2112: 

    Their set list reflects the seasons theme of the ceremony, with songs from their five albums. We start with Autumn. Expect colourful songs then.

  56.  
    Alex House

    tweets: So sad to see this fantastic summer of sport over!! Forget the legacy, it's a legend in its own right. #Paralympics

  57. 2114: 

    This is Candoco Dance Company, a contemporary group of 12 disabled and non-disabled dancers. They're performing a flame dance around the sun king.

    And some of the performers involved in this segment trained at Circus Space, the east London circus skills workshop.

  58.  
    Dazza, Aberdeen

    texts: Thanks Paralympians from all nations. You have been superb and have delivered a truly inspirational and great Games, until Rio we will miss you.

  59. 2118: 

    "So it's over," sings Chris Martin, at the start of Up in Flames.

    Oh dear, Coldplay, you're not going to be the ones to really make the nation feel melancholy are you? Sunday blues anyone?

  60.  
    Zamira

    texts: I was a volunteer at the paralympics, but missing all the closing ceremony as I am on a train to scotland to start back at uni tomorrow. Such a great experience, so proud to be a part of it and meet so many great people. Relying on your commentary to follow the action!

  61. 2120: 

    What are those things descending from the roof? Nineteen fireflies. They're here because they have dazzled mankind for thousand of years - appearing in poetry and prose. And they signal the end of Autumn.

  62.  
    Moray Barclay, Windsor

    emails: We're watching the Paralympic closing ceremony on TV now. I bought Paralympic Athletics tickets for my family in January 2012 purely because, at the time, we had no Olympic tickets. Saturday 1st September turned out to be one of the most memorable sporting events of my life, including Jason Smyth win the 100m, three incredible T44 200m semi-finals, and a Chinese triple jumper with one arm jump over 15m.

    There was also a football-stadium roar from the aquatic centre around 6:00p.m. when Ellie Simmonds was racing. My eight-year old, unprompted, said that the T44 runners were more impressive that their two-legged counterparts.

  63.  
    Armenoui

    tweets: How can I be more thankful and excited?? In the #olympic_stadium watching @coldplay!!! #closing_ceremony #paralymics ROCKS!!

  64.  
    Gareth Owen

    tweets It looks like someone has dropped acid, then gone on Scrapheap Challenge.... #closingceremony

  65. 2125: 

    Winter next, as is the natural order of things. These are "crows on stilts" coming out now. They've been hiding since Autumn.

    Viktoria Modesta, a lower-leg amputee, model and singer is playing Winter's Snow Queen. She's inspired by the White Queen in, who froze Narnia into a 100-year winter, in CS Lewis's Chronicles.

  66.  
    Katie David

    tweets: It's nice and probably right that the Gamesmakers were thanked but that's not why we did it - we are all so proud to have been part of it.

  67. 2127: 

    No, these blue people aren't Smurfs, they're Iceni warriors, representing the British tribe who lived in a bit of eastern England from the 1st Century BC to 1st Century AD. Boudicca was their most famous leader.

  68. 2131: 

    This isn't ordinary confetti, or flutterfetti, as it's known in the trade. It's special snow confetti coming down from the stadium roof.

  69. 2132: 

    Coldplay's drummer here is Mat Fraser, who was born with phocomelia or short arms. He's been a drummer for more than 25 years.

  70. 2133: 

    Up on the high wires are motorcycle aerialists Laszlo Simet and Lyndsay Adams. The set designers have certainly made use of those cables spanning the stadium roof.

  71. 2135: 

    With Lyndsay igniting that ball of energy, here comes the light. It's Spring.

    The "truck" in this segment is made from aeroplane parts and looks like a grasshopper. Expect some leaping here.

  72. 2137: 

    There are 120 children carrying parts of a fish here. But of course...

    They're from schools in London's Olympic host boroughs. The fish bits are 600 car hub caps, meant to be like scales, and salvaged from scrapyards.

  73.  
    Sean

    texts: The thing I've loved about these Paralympics is that it's showcased the abilities of these athletes, not their disabilities.

  74. 2144: 

    Rihanna. Five Grammys, two Brits and helping to wrap up London's party. She's been named "one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Maybe some of the sports stars seen in London in the past couple of months will be making that list?

  75. 2145: 

    Not sure how the campaign to rebuild Brighton's burnt-out West Pier is going to take this - the steamship has been made using iron salvaged from the site.

  76. 2145: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 in the Olympic Stadium

    Cameras out everywhere - in the crowd, the press box and among the athletes - as Rihanna makes her spectacular entrance.

  77. 2148: 

    Now we move into the height of Summer - can we cope with another one after the Jubilympics Summer of 2012?

    The British Paraorchestra has 17 members with disabilities. Auditions began just a year ago, and the musicians performed live for an audience for the first time just in July. Quite the journey to play in front of tens of thousands in the stadium tonight and millions across the world.

  78.  
    Joanna Hutchison

    tweets: Going to be a lot of tears in this Olympic Stadium tonight, many of which will be mine. #beautifulparalympics!

  79. 2156: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 in the Olympic Stadium

    And the stadium is absolutely rocking as Rihanna bursts into song - we have jigging athletes and helpers on the field, performers going up and down from ropes and one swinging on a chair, a member of Coldplay bouncing on a trampoline and the crowd clapping along.

  80. 2156: 

    These wire-frame flying carousel creatures were made by London arts group Kinetika

    There are also some maypoles about. Maypoles are not specific to the UK, but in Britain and Ireland they symbolise community celebration and dancing.

  81. 2158: 

    Were you passing a bandstand at 1400BST today? You were? Did you hear Coldplay's Viva la Vida playing out? That was Bandstand Marathon, the official finale event of the London 2012 festival.

  82.  
    Bob, Sudbury

    emails: This closing ceremony is totally rubbish, a superb Paralympics, a disfunctional closing ceremony. What the rest of the World must think of all the rubbish that has been seen so far - we as British cannot even understand what it is all about. Whoever idea this was should change his job.

  83.  
    Niall

    texts: We would like to pass on our thanks to all the Paralympians for putting such a wonderful and enlightening Games. You are all heros thank you all Niall, Pearlie and baby Kyle (aged 11mths)

  84.  
    Giosella Di Felice, Padua, Italy

    emails: Terrific! Thanks you to all guys! The British Paraorchestra is a dream! Thanks UK for this tribute to the Olympic and most of all Paralymipic spirit.

  85. 2201: 

    And as Summer fades away and the nights draw in, it's time to lower the Paralympic flag.

    It is brought down by a team of three from the Ministry of Defence: Sergeant Allen, Guardsman Baleidraulu and Flight Lieutenant Stedham. The Paralympic Anthem is played by the British Paraorchestra.

  86.  
    Emma, Swindon

    texts: Thank you London 2012. It's been emotional. Great final day in the Olympic Park.

  87. 2204: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 at the Olympic Stadium

    Spectacular no other word for it. No-one inside this stadium wants the ceremony or the Games to end. There will be a lot of very sad people here in around an hour's time.

  88. 2204: 

    The flag is passed in a waving human chain from Boris Johnson to the President of the IPC Philip Craven to the Mayor of Rio Eduardo Paes.

  89. 2206: 

    The Brazilian National Anthem is played and the familiar green, yellow and blue flag is raised. 2016 will be the first time that the Olympics and Paralympics have come to South America.

  90. 2208: 

    Now it's the turn of Rio to perform a segment of the ceremony and as you may expect it's all very dance-focussed. First up is a "batalha do passinho" dance battle which fuses hip-hip freestyle and samba dancing.

  91. 2209: 

    These dancers belong to Corpo em Movimento a dance group that mixes able-bodied and disabled dancers.

  92. 2214: 

    Visually impaired ballet dancers perform a samba na ponta while capoeira dancers also take part. Then it's everyone on stage while the symbol of Rio 216 appears.

  93. 2215: 

    Fireworks fill the night sky as the Brazil section ends.

  94. 2216: 

    Chairman of London 2012 Sebastian Coe addresses the crowd: "Together these past few weeks we have shared some wonderful days, haven't we?," he says.

    "Days where incredible people have performed feats we hardly thought possible. Days, in these Paralympic games, where our minds were open to what people can do, to what can be achieved by sheer talent and determination."

  95. 2219: 

    A loud cheer goes up as Coe tells an anecdote about a Games Maker who he met on the Tube.

    "His name was Andrew and he told me he was a doctor at St Mary's hospital on his way to help out at boxing. But when I tried to thank him, he wouldn't let me. He said he was the one who wanted to do the thanking.

    "And as we did a very English dance over who should thank who, he suddenly cut through all the politeness and said: 'I was on duty on 7/7, that awful day. For me this is closure. I wasn't sure I should come or whether I could face it. I'm so glad I did. For I've seen the worst of mankind and now I've seen the best of mankind'."

  96. 2219: 

    Coe adds that he also spoke to a Games Maker called Emily at the Paralympics who said that participating in wheelchair basketball had "lifted the cloud of limitation".

    The stadium gives a spontaneous ovation as Coe says: "So Andrew and Emily, I am going to have the last word. Thank you - to you and all our volunteers."

  97. 2221: 

    Coe says: "In this country we will never think of sport the same way and we will never think of disability the same way."

  98. 2222: 

    Lord Coe concludes: "There are some famous words you can find stamped on the bottom of a product. Words, that when you read them, you know mean high quality, mean skill, mean creativity. We have stamped those words on the Olympic and Paralympic games of London 2012.

    "London 2012. Made in Britain."

  99.  
    Ant

    I'm crying now! #london2012 #closingceremony

  100.  
    Robin

    texts: GB is proud to have been custodians of the Olympic And Paralympic movements. With joy we pass the flame to Brazil. What a few marvellous weeks. Be well.

  101. 2224: 

    These have been "amazing" Paralympic Games, says International Paralympic Committee president Sir Philip Craven.

    What London's organisers "breathed in" in Beijing left them "smitten and determined" to deliver. "By building a giant theme park for sport in East London, designed to attract the world's best athletes, the Olympic Delivery Authority and LOCOG have helped inspire a generation," he says.

  102. 2226: 

    He pays tribute to the volunteers with "irrepressible smiles", officials and the armed forces. Once again there is a huge cheer for the Games Makers, and for the armed services who helped man security.

    And to the athletes: "You gave to the world feats of speed, endurance, dexterity and skill many did not think possible.

    "You led the world's media to wax lyrical over your performances and left millions of Paralympic sport fans who created a "wall of noise" in the venues hungry and desperate for more.

  103. 2227: 

    "The Paralympic Games have truly come home and found their pathway to the future here in London.

    "The Paralympic Spirit which saw its first sparks of life in Stoke Mandeville some 64 years ago has followed a super-charged and surreal existence over the last 12 days.

  104. 2228: 

    He's said it. The ultimate accolade: "This has made the London 2012 Paralympic Games unique and without doubt, in my mind and those of the athletes - The Greatest Paralympic Games Ever.

    "These Games have changed us all forever."

  105. 2229: 

    Sir Philip has time for a quick anecdote: "Before I close I want to link Stephen Hawking's words about changing perceptions across multiple dimensions from the ethereal Opening Ceremony, to the words of a five year old called George Glen. A few days ago George was reading a book "Treasure" with his mum, Emma.

    The first page showed a man with an eye patch, a hook for a hand, a parrot on his shoulder and a wooden leg. Emma asked George who the man was, expecting him to say "a pirate". But he said "Well he only has one leg, he must be an athlete".

    "Kids just get it and, now thanks to the amazing performances we've seen here, we all do."Sir Philip has time for a quick anecdote: "Before I close I want to link Stephen Hawking's words about changing perceptions across multiple dimensions from the ethereal Opening Ceremony, to the words of a five year old called George Glen. A few days ago George was reading a book "Treasure" with his mum, Emma.

  106. 2230: 

    Huge boos, as Sir Philip declares the Games closed.

    They only upside? A call to meet in Rio in four years time.

    And a thank you to the people of this "great" city of London, and the entire population of the United Kingdown.

  107. 2231: 

    It was just 12 days ago that the four flames travelled from the summits of the highest peaks in the four UK nations and united at Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympics.

    It arrived in the stadium via relay a day later. It being extinguished tonight, in Thomas Heatherwick's beautiful cauldron, marks the end of London 2012 and the countdown to Rio 2016.

  108. 2233: 

    As the cauldron comes down, and the flame is extinguished, the flame will be shared out across the stadium. This sharing of the flame is suppsed to symbolise the eternal nature of the flame living among us all. Champion swimmer Ellie Simmonds and 100m gold medallist Jonnie Peacock take the flame to start that process.

  109. 2234: 

    An awesome river of light across the stadium floor now.

    The cauldron was made of more than 200 copper petals, placed there by each of the competing Olympic and Paralympic nations. Each will take one home to their country after the Games, and the cauldron will cease to exist.

    Here's the symbolism - the cauldron is like a flower that blooms for the duration of the competition, and it reflects the transitory nature of the Paralympics community.

  110.  
    Alison Griffiths, Barnsley

    emails: Absolutely fantastic, and Coldplay were out of this world! It makes me very proud to be GREAT British

  111.  
    Kavita, Raman, Gaurav, Shyam

    text: The closing ceremony is fantastic and very emotional. We will all be sad when this all ends. Can't wait for Brazil 2016!

  112.  
    D.R. Clarke, Gloucs

    texts: :-@At long last the relentless, boring Olympic hysteria & hype ends. Hip Hip Hurrah

  113. 2236: 

    We're reminded now that this ceremony marks not just the closing of the Paralympics, but the last night of London 2012, more than seven years in the making.

    How to wrap it up? How about 15 Grammy award winning artist Jay Z? And Rihanna's back.

    They're going to Run This Town.

  114.  
    Kathryn Foreman

    tweets: Jay-Z is in the house! The Olympic Stadium, that is #ClosingCeremony

  115. 2242: 

    All the cast are due out on stage now, to join the athletes, as Coldplay begin The Scientist.

  116. 2244: 
    Ian Westbrook, BBC 2012 in the Olympic Stadium

    Some of the athletes donning ponchos and waterproof hats - you will find out why shortly.

    And at home, we're treated to a montage on screen of the greatest sporting moments. We do love a montage at BBC 2012 towers.

  117. 2247: 

    "I don't want it to end, nobody wants it to end, but this is the last song of the last show...

    "Your last chance to celebrate," says Chris Martin.

    "Goodbye from London."

  118. 2249: 

    Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. Do Coldplay just have albums of apt Paralympics Closing Ceremony songs?

    If the fire wasn't out already, it is now. These water fountains jetting up in the stadium are meant to symbolise the final extinguishing of the flame.

  119. 2253: 

    Pyrotechnics O'clock.

    These fireworks all along the river at London's heart are part of the Mayor's Thames Festival. It's a five-year-long celebration of the Capital and its most famous waterway.

  120. 2256: 

    "Thank you London, Thank you UK," it says projected on to the House of Commons.

    Quite.

    If you want to enjoy it all again, in pictures, you can do, here.

  121. 2259: 

    Of course this "last hurrah" isn't really a last hurrah. There's the small matter GB athlete's parade tomorrow, which will see 800 of them travel the streets of the city details here.

  122.  
    Mark, Harpenden

    emails: : What a wonderful summer of sport we've had! So many excellent achievements from hard working and brave athletes not just from these shores but across the world. They have all embraced London as a host city and the supporters have created a very vocal but friendly atmosphere.

  123.  
    Jan, St Helen's

    texts: It makes you proud to be british! London 2012 has just been fantastic, surpassed all expection. Thankyou to all the athletes, Games Makers, artists and anyone else involved in making these Games something we will always remember with pride and joy in our hearts.

  124. 2303: 

    That wraps up our coverage of the ceremony tonight. Thank you for joining us through both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and for this live text.

    From 6 July 2005, to the torch relay to the Olympic Games to now, it's been one amazing London 2012 journey.

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