And… done with Tokyo. The 2020 Olympics closed in a pandemic way, in August 2021.
And if the Opening Ceremony brought me nostalgia and I told you how it was at the one in London, in 2012, where I was very lucky to go, well, let me tell you about the Closing Ceremony J.
The same road to the Olympic Stadium, which I have already learned in two weeks, the same large crowd of tourists, delegates, fans, locals, all eager to be spectators of a great show.
The queues at the small stands that sell all kinds of food prove that we have learned our lesson: you will stay on the stadium for a very long time so, well, you have to have a full stomach, not to care about it.
The “show” before the show is as fascinating as in the Opening. Armies of people arrange scenery, giant elements on wheels, cars, lights. It is a privilege to see the backstage of such an event!
The stands are slowly filling up, we are moving from a humming to real noise, enthusiasm is increasing and you feel an energy that I think only in such places you can feel.
Around me, many foreign languages are spoken, people in suits, others dressed casually, many taking pictures, some preparing their flags, others their raincoats, to have them at hand in case of need…
Nobody instructs us, like last time. We don’t do any training. Now we are mere spectators, we are no longer extras.
Too bad, I had gotten used to it hihi.
THE CLOSING CEREMONY
The countdown from 60 starts.
We see on the screens how the seconds pass, through unique images, some iconic. As we approach 0, the whole stadium becomes a voice. God, I got goosebumps!
We count in one voice: ten, nine, eight… four, three, two, one, SHOUTS…
The Big Ben on the stadium beats 9 o’clock and we count with it. The biggest choir ever!
The show begins. The parade of flags makes me want to find ours. I’m looking for a needle in a hay cart…
But look, I see it, after all! And I’m amused to notice that our flag bearer is a… young lady of color. African, that is.
The moment of the athletes entering the arena is impressive: they simply flow from everywhere, from all the gates and from all the stairs in the stands. Many, practically, come among us, the spectators.
At the official tribune I see, sitting in the center, Prince Harry and Kate.
Otherwise, I can’t identify anyone, as they are right in front of me, a stadium apart J.
The whole program unfolds before our eyes, by the book, synchronized without error. At least I couldn’t see anything that would upset my sight or hearing.
The tribute to John Lennon, with the huge puzzle, is one of the moments that make me, as a producer, feel so small L.
I watch everything that happens on the stadium, curious, amazed, even envious.
I look with maximum delight at the mass of celebrities who raise the energy of the place even more.
The audience is in delirium! Me too, but, being alone, in a tribune with a lot of very serious characters, I don’t feel like screaming as crazy.
George Michael, in one of his last appearances.
The Spice Girls
I was afraid that I would only see their bottoms (the joy of many men around me), but they had a show in which I got to see their faces, too:
I have no idea what the reunion of the 4 Spice Girls meant from a financial point of view, but I suspect that it meant wagons of money…
Take That reunited too, but without Robbie Williams.
The list is very long, there are many stars on it:
Ed Sheraan, for example, who I had no idea at the time who he was.
Emeli Sandé, the first to enter the show and the one who also had an emotional performance later in the show. Then Pet Shop Boys, One Direction, Madness, Russell Brand and many, many other famous singers and actors, acrobats and world-class models, like Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss. Well, all the famous people of England – celebrities for all generations.
Apart from the show in the arena, I was ecstatic about the stars seen next to me:
Jason Statham, whom I tried to photograph as discreetly as possible.
I was thinking that the man knows what his appearance in such a crowded place means, but I didn’t want to look like a desperate woman aggressing him with the camera J.
Hellen Mirren, an actress I like a lot, and whose being close to me made me feel so cool!
I would have liked to ask for an autograph, but I thought to show some common sense and leave people alone, to enjoy the show.
Anyway, I don’t even think I could have done it, because, at one point, I noticed some special “uncles” in the area, who I think would have stopped me in one split second:
So I tried to photograph the last Hollywood star who was two steps away from me, from my chair, discreetly, elegantly, even if it didn’t work out too well, because I saw his daughter looking at me at one point:
Ladies and gentlemen, Arnold Schwarzenegger!
…and this is it, the ceremony ended, the flame went out, we all threw a wave of emotion in the arena, we sang another hit, we took a few hundred more pictures when the fireworks started.
I arrived home happy for all the experience, grateful to the friends who helped me to be part of the Olympics (@Irina Nicolae, thank you!!! @Andrei Nourescu, thank you too for leaving earlier and for letting me take your place in the stands J) and I enjoyed all the souvenirs with the Olympics that I bought, because I just wasn’t going to miss anything:
Diaries, notebooks, miniature Olympic flame, socks and coins with the Olympic sports, key-chains, magnets, bags, Coca Cola special edition, string bracelets, rubber bracelets, stamps, towels, frisbee, pens, postcards, badges, small mascots, large mascots, t-shirts, caps…
(What’s in the photo is still untouched, after 9 years! I know, I’m crazy. Oh, wait, the Cola, though, I drank, because I just wasn’t going to play with the “best before” term…)
About how it was at the Opening of the London Olympics, you can read here. And unique things I found about the Olympics, from the beginning, you can read soon.