How could we do a recap of 2012 without revisiting this post about the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics this summer? We were blown away by the theatre and creativity displayed in the ceremony. Truly awe inspiring.
10 September 2012
A few weeks ago, we were feeling a bit blue after the finish of the wonderful London 2012 Olympic games. Today, we have that same feeling all over again as the truly magnificent Paralympics came to a close yesterday evening in a show of fireworks, Coldplay and strange vehicles.
It has to be said that all opening and closing ceremonies are huge spectacles meant to celebrate the host country as well as the event – which can sometimes lead to slightly odd or even stereotypical representations, but we were both surprised and delighted by the closing ceremony of the Paralympics. We enjoyed it more than the closing ceremony of the Olympics. And why? Because it was all about eclecticism, recycling, imagination and creativity. And it was a little bit steampunk.
The VT before the start of the ceremony featured a range of strange creature vehicles – steel, cogs and flames – heading for the stadium. It was a combination of Mad Max and Scrapheap challenge. On entering the stadium the vehicles, which represented seasons and the spirit paraded around, surrounded by characters with flaming poles. It looked magnificent.
The ‘Festival of the Flame’ used fire throughout the event – both in the dancing, on the vehicles and also to mark the grass itself. Characters entered the stadium and using flame throwers began to scorch the grass in the darkness. When the lights came back on in the stadium, a range of patterns were marked into the floor which became placings for the vehicles.
And really, as great as Coldplay was, we were just delighted by the vehicles, which, according to the Guardian had been designed and constructed in the UK by the team behind the 80′s Mutoid Waste Company completely from a collection of bits and pieces found in scrapyards across the land. The large fish vehicle was clad with painted hubcaps rescued from waste facilities and the car which brought Prince Edward and International Paralympic Committee President Sir Phillip Craven was part 1930′s car and an ex military armoured vehicle from Afghanistan.
As viewers, we were delighted that the imagination and creativity of Great Britain were on show with the closing ceremony as Director Kim Gavin created a fantastic mix of upcycled and repurposed structures. Plus, as C4 commentator and past Paralympian Jeff Adams observed, many paralympians could relate to this customising theme as they often personally adjusted their own equipment to make it fit and perform better.
But, the last word has to go to Lord Coe, who summed up the entire Games and British design and creativity perfectly.
“Finally, 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.”
(images via London 2012)