Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The London 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony

I said goodbye to London 2012 a few weeks ago, after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Of course I intended to watch the Paralympic Games on the television, but we had really asked too much of my parents, our loyal babysitters, and it all felt a bit excessive somehow to think about returning to the Olympic Park. But when my husband managed to get hold of tickets for the Paralympic Closing Ceremony at just £20.12 each, how could I refuse? He even managed to pick up some cheap tickets to the Wheelchair Rugby game earlier in the day, so we had another exciting day at the Olympic Park.

We quickly picked up the familiar routine, parking at Ebbsfleet, into Westfield for some lunch, empty out the water bottles, go through security into the park, fill the water bottles back up again, then on into the venue. The park hadn't changed of course, although it is starting to look a little bit worse for wear compared to that first evening. The pavements are a bit grubby, and the beautiful flowers are past their best. I also noticed the names of the sponsors in evidence a lot more. Another thing that I realised was that there were a lot more family groups in the park, with lots of young children. Perhaps because the tickets have been easier to come by, or after hearing the positive experiences of others at the park.

London 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony

We enjoyed the wheelchair rubgy very much, although watching the players falling backwards out of the wheelchairs did make me wince - I don't know why they don't wear helmets! It was an exciting game, and you could easily see that Australia were the better team. As we left the Basketball Arena the park was emptying quickly and the fences were being erected to close off the outer areas of the park. We returned to Westfield for some dinner, then headed back into the park for the Closing Ceremony. The mood was buoyant, yet tinged with sadness. The wonderful volunteers were still going strong, I can't imagine the come down that they must be experiencing today after six weeks on such a high! We took our seats almost at the very top, and waited for the show to begin.

Someone had taken the excellent decision to seat the athletes before the ceremony began, which meant that the whole evening moved along nicely. We love Coldplay, which was a good thing, as it did feel in places like a glorified Coldplay concert. The staging was amazing, along with the lighting , the performers, and the dancers flying high through the air. The songs performed reflected the mood in the stadium perfectly - upbeat at the fantastic way in which the games have been hosted, contemplation at all the amazing things that we've witnessed over the last few weeks, and sadness that now it really is all over. The fireworks were spectacular, and although we couldn't see them all inside the stadium we saw footage of the fireworks all over London on the television screens. Of course the main focus in the ceremony was the feats which we have witnessed throughout the Paralympic Games, which really have been incredible.

London 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony

Everyone left the stadium in a good mood as we moved towards the trains and high-fived the volunteers. From what we've seen, the handling of crowds has worked incredibly well throughout. Despite the large queues, the flow of people moved continously from stadium to station. Of course we were late home, but it was so worth it. We are so lucky to have been able to take part.

Now London 2012 really is over, and what a fantastic experience it has been. 

8 comments:

  1. I am gutted. The whole summer was tinged with excitement just knowing that the Olympics and Paralympics was going on in Britain. We watched quite a lot on TV and were so happy to go to the athletics last week. My 8 year old cried about it being over and I totally understand how he felt.

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    1. I cried a bit too! We had a wonderful experience.

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  2. oh im sooo jealous you got to see the closing ceremony's, we went to see GB vs USA wheel chair rugby last Wednesday and loved it! loved being in the park the atmosphere was great. So gutted its over now, have loved every minute of it x x

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    1. You're right, the atmosphere there was fantastic. It's been great!

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  3. What is your husband going to do now that there are no more tickets to be found?! Good job you like Coldplay- I did feel they took over a bit, good job I like them too! Once again very jealous!

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    1. My poor husband, I don't know what he's going to do with himself now! Coldplay did rather dominate proceedings!

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  4. WOW what a great thing to go too. I went to the Opening Ceremony. Its something I will never forget

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  5. It looks such a wonderful experience. You were so lucky to get tickets, it will be something you never forget.

    Thanks for linking to the Paralympics blog hop. Sorry it's taken me so long to comment. Been a hectic couple of weeks getti back into the school routine!

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