The Festival of the Flame & the Olympic/Paralympic Parade

Olympic/Paralympic Parade

To celebrate the achievements of the athletes of Team GB during the Summer, An Olympic/Paralympic Parade to celebrate the XXX Olympiad  took place on Monday 10th September through the streets of London . Hosted by Huw Edwards, Gabby Yorath, Sir Steve Redgrave, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Matthew Pinsett  The Procession Started towards the East, went past St Pauls Cathedral, up Ludgate Hill, along Fleet Street, Past the Royal Law Courts, past Trafalgar Square, Through Admiralty Arch and Along the Mall up to the Queen Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace .  The Parade consisted of twenty-one floats which were led along the route by The Kinetica Dancing Lion and the Kinetica Marching Band.

The Band of the Royal Marines and The Band of the Coldstream Guards were also playing. The Procession was watched by  HRH Princess Royal Princess Anne, Sebastian Coe the Lord Mayor of London Sir David Wootton, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Prime Minister David Cameron among many others and was interspersed with interviews with some of the athletes, including Zara Phillips, Mo Farah, David Wier, Oscar Pistorius, Tom Daley, Rebecca Addlington, Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds, Victoria Pendleton Sir Chris Hoy, Sarah Storey …among many others.

Once they reached the Queen Victoria memorial they were met by the First Battalion of the Irish Guards for the Finale, which Including an Impressive Flypast over Buckingham Palace containing The Gold British Airways aeroplane which brought the Olympic Flame to Britain, two Lynx, a Puma and Sea King Helicopters, followed by Two Hawker Typhoons and a Boeing E3 Sentry and finally The Red Arrows.

whilst the Team GB and Paralympics Athletes mmade their way on to the stage there were performances by Amy Macdonald,and the Pet Shop Boys, who sang Winner, West end Girls and Go West, which were interspersed by interviews conducted by Helen Skelton and Ben Shepherd with some of the Athletes. To round off the event there were speeches by the Prime Minister David Cameron, HRH Princess Royal Princess Anne and London Mayor Boris Johnson and Katherine Jenkins sang the National Anthem towards the end of the event.

Festival of Flame

The Olympic Stadium was ablaze with fire during the spectacular Festival of Flame which took place in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday 9th September and brought 12 days of thrilling Paralympic competition to an end and also signalled the end to a spectacular summer of sport. The Extravaganza was split into four sections designed to reflect the cycle of life and passing seasons and started with the Earl of Wessex who lapped the track in a custom-made vintage car which drove through an arch of 54 military drummers before he made a speech.  Hundreds of performers then carried torches into the Olympic Stadium to mark the beginning of the Paralympic Closing Ceremony and The spectacle got underway when hundreds of Mad Max-style characters burst into the arena driving a procession of wierd and wonderful fantasy vehicles including A giant metallic skeleton of a fish surrounded by flame-waving dancers, A remarkable vehicle which represented a fantasy battle scene between good and evil, A vehicle representing ‘Clocks’ which glistened gold as it circled the arena, a mechanical horse rode by a knight in shining armour and A large grasshopper which appeared to be a converted Volkswagen Beetle.

The event was attended by 4,200 Parlympians  from 164 nations who overcame the most unlikely odds to compete in the Paralympics, including David Weir and Sarah Storey, who also carried the Union flag at the closing ceremony, War hero Captain Luke Sinnott, who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan, also climbed the flagpole to unfurl Union Flag, British athletes Ellie Simmonds(Who won gold in the 400m S6 Freestyle and the 200m S6 Individual Medley), and Jonnie Peacock (who won the T44 100m) extinguished the Olympic flame, and both lit torches from the dying flame in the Paralympic cauldron, symbolically marking the end of the 2012 Games.

Coldplay Rihanna and Jay Z provided the soundtrack to the Paralympic Closing Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium whn they performed a 15-track set list, including “Yellow”,”Speed of Sound”,”Clocks”,”Paradise” “Up in Flames” and the duet ‘Princess of China” with Rihanna (Who was flat).

Hopefully the Talent and determination shown by the Paralympians during the Paralympics will transform the way so-called disabled people, are regarded by society in the most fundamental way. The question is, of course, whether the euphoria and the enlightened attitude towards disabled people it has instilled will survive and develop beyond the Paralympics. Some say that there is every cause for optimism and that Eighty per cent of somebody’s disability is in the able-bodied person’s eye, who then put up barriers that aren’t actually there.

To finish this vibrant, uplifting tribute,  a Stunning Fireworks display lit up the night sky above the Olympic Stadium and The London organisers passed the responsibility of holding the Olympics on to Brazil in time for the Rio Games of 2016.

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