Beijing 2008 Olympics Closing Ceremony Highlight Video

The Summer Olympics came to a close in Beijing with a blast of fireworks, spectacular pageantry and athletes and spectators alike celebrating the joy of sport.Tens of thousands of spectators and athletes packed what became known as the Bird's Nest, the Games' main stadium, for a final party and send-off on Sunday night.

"Tonight, we come to the end of 16 glorious days which we will cherish forever," IOC president Jacques Rogge told the crowd at the National Outdoor Stadium. "Through these Games, the world learned more about China, and China learned more about the world."

"These were truly exceptional Games," he said, and then declared them formally closed.

Liu Qi, the head of the Beijing organizing committee, said the Games were "testimony to the fact that the world has rested its trust in China."

When the first round of fireworks died down, a military band played the Chinese national anthem before thousands of acrobats and drummers in brightly coloured costumes danced onto the field.

Unlike the Aug. 8 opening ceremonies, when athletes arrive in groups with their country-mates, the Olympians ran into the stadium, waving to spectators and snapping pictures.

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and British songstress Leona Lewis represented the host of the 2012 Summer Games, London, with a concert from a stage rigged from a double-decker bus. Soccer star David Beckham also appeared.

The ceremonies were also highlighted by a kung-fu demonstration by athletes from a local martial arts school and a duet sung by Chinese soprano Song Zuying and tenor Placido Domingo.
Beijing Olympics Closing Ceremony Highlight Video

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