Olympic Closing:

It probably won't stay up long, catch it while you can. Incredible performance by the Who. Peter Townsend and Roger Daltry just rocked it out of the stadium and across the ocean. Well done, London.

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    Viva Mexico! (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 08:23:19 AM EST
    El Tri shocked the world...how sweet it was.  Wish I had been down in GDL for that party, musta been epic.

    A most enjoyable Olympiad.

    Hopefully, the party will last... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 10:38:19 AM EST
    ...and the military and the cartels will forget they even exist.  Gotta be a genuine catharsis for the country.  Viva El Tri!!  

    Magnificent Olympics (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by cal1942 on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 11:23:52 AM EST
    London knocked it out of the park, as near perfect Olympic games as possible.

    Take that Mitt Romney.

    Agree, and better than (none / 0) (#7)
    by brodie on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 12:08:45 PM EST
    the 1984 LA Olympics in that I didn't perceive London to be quite so blatantly commercialized.  Plus full participation by the major countries*.  And much preferred the populist/working class/liberal themes and attitudes I perceived in both ceremonies in London over the Hollywoodish over the top glitz of LA's opening.

    Only major downside was NBC's delayed and packaged coverage with too many men as hosts (excepting Costas whom I like).

    *.   Not sure if India and Pakistan competed.  I never heard from them re medals or anything


    I really liked Mary Carillo's features (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 12:39:02 PM EST
    Too bad they were usually relegated to the late night segments.  I'd like to see her as more of a co-host with Costas.

    For some classic, really funny Carillo, check out this piece from Athens.


    India... (none / 0) (#9)
    by rdandrea on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 01:36:37 PM EST
    ...sent 83 athletes to London.

    All told, India won six medals: one bronze in each of women's flyweight boxing and women's singles badmintion, silver and bronze in men's freestyle wrestling (66g and 60kg), silver in men's 25m pistol, and bronze in men's 10m air rifle.

    Pakistan sent 41 athletes to London but did not medal.

    Go here and choose "Browse Medal Charts by Nation."


    er, 66kg (none / 0) (#10)
    by rdandrea on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 01:37:53 PM EST
    the "k" key on my keyboard is intermittent.

    Thx for that info (none / 0) (#17)
    by brodie on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:48:55 PM EST
    Little wonder then why I didn't know those two countries sent athletes ...

    Because my "k" key is broken? (none / 0) (#22)
    by rdandrea on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 08:05:27 PM EST

    Eh, no. (none / 0) (#24)
    by brodie on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 08:15:43 PM EST
    It's on accounta the obscure events they competed in.

    To be fair, the L.A. Olympics ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 02:52:46 PM EST
    ... actually did the Games a tremendous service overall, if you remember them within the context of their times.

    The '84 L.A. Games came on the heels of nearly disastrous shows the previous three cycles. It was only eight years prior to the '84 LA Games that Denver actually declined to host the 1976 Winter Olympics after having first successfully bid for them, which compelled the IOC into a rather hasty relocation to Innsbruck, Austria.

    That same year, Montreal was pushed to the brink of financial insolvency when it hosted the '76 Summer Games. The city's Olympic Stadium is one of the most beautiful ever constructed for the Olympics; unfortunately, construction on the facility was only completed after the Games had already concluded.

    And of course, we all know the stories of the deadly terrorist attack on the Israeli team at the 1972 Munich Olympics and the U.S.-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games in the immediate aftermath of the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

    Suffice to say that by the late 1970s and early '80s, the Olympic Games were seen by most people around the world as a white elephant, a serious money-losing proposition.

    Further, the IOC originally awarded the '84 Summer Games were to Teheran back in 1977, and that bid became moot two years later with the domestic upheavals that brought the ayatollahs to power in Iran. Some were understandably questioning whether the Olympics could even survive.

    Thus, the IOC in 1980 pretty much awarded the '84 Games to the Los Angeles metropolitian area by default, because nobody else wanted them. The facilities were already in place, and to their credit, Angelenos pulled together to be gracious hosts for a great games.

    What could have been a disastrous turn when the Soviet Union decided to engage in a retaliatory boycott for their '80 embarrassment, was saved by the equally surprising announcement that China had accepted the IOC's and United States' invitation to participate for the first time since 1932, which coincidentally were also held in Los Angeles.

    So really, it was the '84 LA Games that made the Olympics fashionable again, and and re-launched the franchise to become the spectacle it is today.



    Yes I remember those Games (none / 0) (#16)
    by brodie on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:46:28 PM EST
    and the way they were successful.  We lived there at the time and attended two events -- US men's basketball and track and field.  I recall the financial problems Montreal experienced.  

    So yes, restabilizing the Games as a viable venture was a major achievement of LA.  London also had major challenges (security primarily) and in both providing the infrastructure and in the athletic performance aspects it was a major success.  Add to that the superior opening and closing theatrics and the more worldwide participation -- well, London outpoints LA, by my count.


    The L.A. Games were a lot of fun. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 06:48:15 PM EST
    It was summer break in college, and I returned home to Pasadena for them because my grandfather scored a beaucoup amount of tickets for all of us to attend the opening and closing ceremonies (it probably helped to have the Mayor of L.A. as his friend). Other events I attended were the soccer gold medal final at the Rose Bowl, volleyball at the Long Beach arena, and the equestrian events over at Santa Anita Park.

    It's like everything was in alignment for the Olympics that year. I remember how everyone was so worried about how the Games would go off. Yet, the weather was clear and beautiful (and surprisingly mild for mid-July), it was not smoggy at all, and there were no traffic problems to speak of. All in all, it was L.A. at its very best, and because the disparate events were spread out over the entire L.A. area, everyone got to experience the region's diversity.

    I won't disagree that London's opening and closing ceremonies were indeed spectacular, certainly on par with Beijing's four years prior, if not better. But even then, L.A. also set the stage for them, because the '84 ceremonies were the first to be specifically choreographed for show and entertainment, rather than simply uphold some time-honored Olympic ritual.

    Each of the Games since has followed in L.A.'s footsteps, and you have to admit, London had the advantage of nearly three decades' worth of advancements in technology over the Los Angeles of 1984 -- and it certainly showed. Last night was fun to watch.

    But the '84 L.A. Summer Olympics were a monumental achievment and success by any standard, particularly when you consider how they were pulled together on relatively short notice of less than four years.

    And financially, its Olympic legacy is still paying off through the LA84 Foundation, which was endowed by profits derived from the Games. The foundation promotes and supports youth-oriented athletic programs throughout the greater Los Angeles community, and most recently helped to restore athletic programs for untold thousands of student-athletes in L.A.-area high schools in the wake of severe budget cuts.



    Ok, because of the last funding (none / 0) (#21)
    by brodie on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 07:59:58 PM EST
    point you raised, which I'd forgotten about, plus recalling also how gloriously free of traffic jams the freeways were for those two weeks, I'm going to add points to LA's total to make them equal to London.

    Good arguments you present.


    A great deal of thanks (none / 0) (#25)
    by bmaz on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 08:28:38 PM EST
    for the LA Olympics goes to Peter Ueberroth who, very unlike Romney and Salt Lake City, actually did all the real long term work making them a success.  

    Seriously, Tom Welch and Dave Johnson may have been corrupt bribers and all, but they got the Olympics to SLC and did all the hard initial work; Romney parachuted in as a face and to raise last minute commercial money that always gets raised for Olympic productions. That was not all due to Romney, although he did certainly provide the public face and gravitas when there was trouble. The overall effort, though, was not his result as many portray it.


    thanks for the link (none / 0) (#1)
    by ruffian on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 07:00:38 AM EST
    Click the 'other options' button, no 3d glasses if it does not open for you right away.

    I did not make it all the way to the end last night- what a fantastic finale. Great music selection. I was worried The Who was not going to be there when they had someone else playing Pinball Wizard earlier in the night. Glad to see Roger still has the pipes.

    Overall I enjoyed these Olympics more than most, gratuitous NBC bashing aside.

    Okay closing though i (none / 0) (#3)
    by brodie on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 09:28:44 AM EST
    missed seeing The Who.  Also missed -- or NBC didn't show -- Ray Davies of the Kinks singing Waterloo Sunset.

    As with the opening, there was too much going on on the huge performance stage for tv cameras to adequately convey it.  

    And am I the only person a bit annoyed that NBC had only (white) male announcers for its A Team of network hosts -- Costas, Michaels, Patrick, and C Crest?  The two female hosts I noted were relegated to graveyard shift and to Msnbc.

    Didn't watch The Who (none / 0) (#5)
    by rdandrea on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 10:50:32 AM EST
    But audio for the earlier part of the ceremony was terrible.  Sounded like pure ambient sound from a mic in the middle of the stadium.  They couldn't take a feed off the board?

    Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey ... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 01:48:09 PM EST
    ... can bring it with a vengeance.

    On the other end of the spectrum, or did anyone else find the performance of "West End Girls" by the Pet Shop Boys -- who have to be pushing 60 -- to be somewhat disconcerting? That song was a huge hit when I was in college, and was the rage in all the dance clubs at the time.

    Yet while I've always liked the Pet Shop Boys, somehow, seeing a couple of old guys singing "West End Girls" while dressed up as members of a witches' coven just struck me as sort of creepy.

    But otherwise, the Closing Ceremonies proved to be a magnificent show that brought a great Olympics to a very fitting conclusion.

    For me, a highlight was Eric Idle singing (none / 0) (#13)
    by caseyOR on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:00:13 PM EST
    my go-to song for when all the total f@cked-up-ness of everything gets to be too much. Yes, I am talking about that great little tune from Monty Python, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

    I love this song, especially in its original context. And I find myself turning to it time and time again these days.


    I thought the song ran a tad long (none / 0) (#14)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:09:52 PM EST
    but it sure gave me a chuckle when they started and enjoyed it despite it's length :)

    I enjoyed the cut overs to the Dutch athletes also. Seemed they were always dancing in sync and singing. Almost like they had an advance script, lol!~


    NBC bleeped out a second (none / 0) (#15)
    by brodie on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 05:37:20 PM EST
    or so of the Idle song on the west coast prime time broadcast.  Not sure why.  I enjoyed that portion of the show.  

    Also the version someone did of I Am the Walrus and the goofy costumed dancers was worthy.  Ditto the video appearance of Lennon singing Imagine from forty years ago.

    Overall a much better than usual Closing.


    It got bleeped because the ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 06:53:10 PM EST
    ... particular verse being sung at the time included the word "sh*t," and NBC has to protect the innocence of people like you and me, lest we get the vapors.

    Well that would explain it. (none / 0) (#20)
    by brodie on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 07:48:11 PM EST
    Though I didn't catch if any NBC announcer bothered to explain it.

    Once ran into Eric Idle at a funky, original furniture-artworks store around the corner from our house in LA.  Only, this occurring some 15 years ago, I couldn't quite put a name to a familiar face as I stood ten feet from him.

    Just as he was was opening the door to leave I said something like (pointing in his direction) Oh, you're one of those funny guys from across the Pond.  He gave me a look of being rather appreciated to be recognized, even if not fully by name, as he got into his unfancy American (rental?) car and drove off.  The store owner cleared up for us exactly who he was.


    P-O at NBC re closing ceremony musical edits (none / 0) (#23)
    by DFLer on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 08:15:32 PM EST
    from Billboard

    Some Olympics fans found yet another reason to be unhappy with NBC on Sunday night.

    The network edited out or greatly delayed parts of the closing ceremony, including performances by Muse, Ray Davies of the Kinks and a second song by George Michael, and then at 11 p.m. abruptly cut away to show a preview of the new comedy "Animal Practice."

    Before the commercial break, announcer Bob Costas told viewers: "That concludes the closing ceremony. We'll be back to wrap things up after this."

    After the break, he then revealed that the remainder of the closing ceremony -- which the network billed as a "closing party" -- would actually air an hour later, following a sneak preview of "Animal Practice" and local news.

    "We'll be back from Olympic Stadium in about an hour for the London closing party, featuring The Who," he said. "Stay tuned now for a full episode of Animal Practice, a new NBC comedy, presented commercial free."

    When the network returned at midnight Ryan Seacrest greeted viewers with "Welcome to the London closing party."  "Now it's time for the big finale." The delayed set consisted of a medley performed by legendary rock band The Who, which included the songs "Baba O'Riley," See Me Feel Me" and "My Generation."

    Ah... (none / 0) (#26)
    by desertswine on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 09:11:21 PM EST
    So that explains why I missed the Who performance.