Skip to main content

Olympics Day 16: 'Glorious' Games come to an end

By Richard Allen Greene and Steve Almasy, CNN
August 13, 2012 -- Updated 0358 GMT (1158 HKT)
Fireworks light up the Olympic stadium during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics on Sunday, August 12. Check out photos from the <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/27/worldsport/gallery/olympic-opening-ceremony/index.html' target='_blank'>opening ceremony.</a> Fireworks light up the Olympic stadium during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics on Sunday, August 12. Check out photos from the opening ceremony.
HIDE CAPTION
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
Olympic Closing Ceremony
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: London Games declared over
  • Team USA wins second consecutive basketball gold
  • Marathoner Stephen Kiprotich wins Uganda's first medal in a thrilling race
  • Super heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua wins gold for Britain

London (CNN) -- Legendary track star and chairman of the London Organizing Committee Sebastian Coe congratulated his fellow Britons for a "glorious" Olympic Games on Sunday night.

"When our time came, Britain, we did it right," Coe told the 80,000 gathered at Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony.

Coe said these "two glorious weeks" would "inspire a generation."

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge declared the London Games officially over.

He echoed Coe's sentiments.

Yonas Kifle of Eritrea is cheered by spectators as he competes in the men's marathon on day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics, Sunday, August 12, the last day of the Games. See all the action as it unfolded here, and check out the best images from day 15 of competition on Saturday, August 11. Yonas Kifle of Eritrea is cheered by spectators as he competes in the men's marathon on day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics, Sunday, August 12, the last day of the Games. See all the action as it unfolded here, and check out the best images from day 15 of competition on Saturday, August 11.
Day 16: The best photos of the Olympics
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Day 16: The best photos of the Olympics Day 16: The best photos of the Olympics
Re-live the London Olympics
Women make their mark on the Games

"These were happy and glorious Games," he said. "The legacy of the Games of the 30th Olympiad will become clear in many ways. Concrete improvements in infrastructure will benefit the host nation for years to come. The human legacy will reach every region of the world. Many young people will be inspired to take up a sport or to pursue their dreams."

As the Games came to a close, the United States led the medal count with 104 overall, 46 of them gold.

China finished second, with 87 medals, with Russia third with 82. Great Britain finished with 65, its best total since 1908.

Singers from all eras performed. There was rock great Ray Davies, pop heroes George Michael and Annie Lennox, and new boy-band One Direction. Even comedian Russell Brand joined in, singing The Beatles "I Am The Walrus."

The crowd gave the Spice Girls a rousing ovation after they performed two of their hits.

Other performers payed tribute to some of the artists who didn't attend or had passed away.

Singers Jessie J and Taio Cruz teamed with rapper Tinie Tempah to sing "You Should Be Dancing" by the Bee Gees (born on Isle of Man). Ed Sheeran led a quartet with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Richard Jones of the Feeling and Mike Rutherford of Genesis in covering "Wish You Were Here."

Later Monty Python actor Eric Idle led the crowd in singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."

To close the music medley Jessie J also joined Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen, belting out "We Will Rock You."

The Who closed out the ceremony with a medley of the band's hits, ending with "My Generation."

In a new twist, the 10,000-plus athletes entered the stadium through the stands, some high-fiving members of the audience as they descended the steps to the field.

There was also one final medal ceremony as Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda was awarded his marathon gold and listened along with the spectators to his national anthem.

The White House released a statement that said President Obama called British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulating London on an "extremely successful" games.

CNN Olympic experience and highlights
Olympics close with fireworks display
Will Rio be ready for the 2016 Olympics?

One of the U.S. golds came as expected on the basketball court, but in a tougher contest than expected.

Led by Kevin Durant's 30 points, the United States fought off a stiff challenge from Spain to win the gold medal 107-100.

The Americans defended their title from four years ago in Beijing, also against Spain.

"This game was fun. It was a challenge, but we stepped up to it," Kobe Bryant told NBC, an official broadcaster of the Games.

LeBron James had 19 points and Bryant scored 17 for the Americans, who led by only one point after the third quarter.

"We all respect each other," Durant said. "We all know it's our common goal."

Russia narrowly edged out Argentina for the bronze.

London itself took center stage on the last day of the Olympics on Sunday, with the men's marathon course running past the city's major landmarks from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace.

Kiprotich won a thrilling race in 2:08:01, dueling for miles with early leader Wilson Kipsang of Kenya and his compatriot Abel Kirui.

The Kenyans worked together to try to box the Ugandan in, but as the race neared its end, he blew past them to finish with a commanding lead, giving Uganda its first medal of any color in these Games.

Read more: Nigeria's 12- year wait for Olympic gold

Kirui took silver and Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich took the bronze, with Eritrea-born American Meb Keflezighi coming fourth, about three minutes behind the winner.

The hosts snatched yet another boxing gold medal later Sunday, with super heavyweight Anthony Joshua winning gold for Britain. Italy, whose Roberto Cammarelle won silver, launched an appeal after the fight ended 18-18. Joshua was awarded victory on countback -- using the scores of all five judges, not just the middle three scores.

"It was a tough first round. The judges will always do their job and I do my job," the champion said. "I have had close decisions in other tournaments but I just take it on the chin."

The Italian said the decision was curious.

"I did everything I could. I don't understand the score," he said. "Where did they get all the points they gave him at the end?"

Read more: Five things to watch at Olympics on Sunday

Team USA picked up another gold medal earlier, when Jacob Stephen Varner won the 96-kilogram freestyle wrestling contest.

"I came here to win a gold medal and that's what I've done," he said. "I played more defense then I wanted to, but it's awesome for the United States."

Uzbekistan's Artur Taymazov became first man to win three consecutive freestyle wrestling golds, defeating Davit Modzmanashvili of Georgia.

"I wanted to get the third gold," said Taymazov, who also won a silver at the Sydney Games in 2000. "There was also a time pressure, because I am 33. But it was my time."

At the 2000 Olympics, Greco-Roman wrestler Alexander Karelin won three straight golds and then a silver.

"I'm glad I have equaled his medal total," Taymazov said, "but he has won more world championships than I have won so I must do more over the next two seasons."

In men's water polo, Ratko Rudic guided Croatia to an 8-6 victory over Italy in the gold medal match, a record fourth win for the a coach. Rudic has led three nations -- Yugoslavia, Italy and his native Croatia -- to gold as well as winning a silver medal in 1980 as a player with Yugoslavia.

Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania won the final gold medal of the London Games with an Olympic record score in the modern pentathlon.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 13, 2012 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
The moment that Team GB's Mo Farah won the 10,000 meters was a wonderful collision of electricity.
August 13, 2012 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
His blistering pace and larger-than-life antics made him the king of the track in London, and bolstered his claims to be a "living legend."
August 14, 2012 -- Updated 0944 GMT (1744 HKT)
Disappointment for Nigeria's Muizat Ajoke Odumosu, who came last in the 400m hurdles final, London 2012 Olympics.
The Olympics are generally won and lost long before the opening ceremony cauldron is touched by fire.
August 12, 2012 -- Updated 0738 GMT (1538 HKT)
Fans of the home side, Team GB, wave Union Jack flags during the Olympic Games
CNN's Richard Quest believes the London Games will be regarded as having brought the Olympics concept home.
August 11, 2012 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
Strategist Alastair Campbell says he never imagined London 2012 would be quite the triumph it turned out to be.
August 14, 2012 -- Updated 2057 GMT (0457 HKT)
Award-winning director Danny Boyle celebrates the best of British music in London 2012's Olympic Closing Ceremony.
January 31, 2013 -- Updated 1452 GMT (2252 HKT)
From Usain Bolt's record-setting achievements to an unexpected Ugandan gold, London 2012 has provided a wide array of highlights.
August 13, 2012 -- Updated 0305 GMT (1105 HKT)
CNN's Amanda Davies recaps the London 2012 Olympics from the opening ceremony on July 27 to the finale on day 16.
August 12, 2012 -- Updated 1702 GMT (0102 HKT)
Mo Farah and Usain Bolt celebrate their success at the London 2012 Olympic Games by copying each other's
It's been just over two weeks since the Queen parachuted into London's Olympic Stadium, her apricot dress flapping in the breeze.
August 15, 2012 -- Updated 1214 GMT (2014 HKT)
When the world's top marathon runners bid to win Olympic gold, they would do well to draw inspiration from one of the greatest athletes in the history of track and field.
August 11, 2012 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
Team GB supporters with their faces painted in Union Jack designs at the Olympic Stadium in London.
Alastair Campbell always thought London 2012 would be a success, but never imagined it would be quite the triumph it has turned out to be.
August 10, 2012 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Adrien Niyonshuti is unlikely to win an Olympic medal, and he will do well to even finish his event, but his story is surely one of the most inspirational.
August 10, 2012 -- Updated 1605 GMT (0005 HKT)
The colors of the Olympic Rings at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, August 2012.
Olympic fever has cheered up London and made it a more welcoming place, but will optimism be one of the legacies of the Games?
August 10, 2012 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Wojdan Shaherkani's Olympic debut was short, but sweet -- the Saudi judoka said competing at the Games was
London 2012 is the first Olympics to feature women in every national team, with Jacques Rogge hailing a "major boost for gender equality."
August 10, 2012 -- Updated 0040 GMT (0840 HKT)
An impoverished South Korean gymnast has not only struck Olympic gold, but also reaped a $444,000 donation in a veritable rags to riches tale.
August 9, 2012 -- Updated 0046 GMT (0846 HKT)
Britain's hero Jessica Ennis is set to cash in after winning heptathlon gold, but the poster girl of the 2012 Olympics says fame is not her motivation.
August 8, 2012 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
China is rallying around fallen hurdler Liu Xiang after he failed to make it past the first-round heat for a second consecutive Olympics.
August 3, 2012 -- Updated 1930 GMT (0330 HKT)
The first woman to win Olympic gold almost died in a plane crash, but remarkably returned to run again for the U.S. in 1936.
August 7, 2012 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
Don Paige could not bear to watch the race he knew he could win. The 1980 Moscow Olympics were the death of a dream for many athletes.
August 4, 2012 -- Updated 1421 GMT (2221 HKT)
Ricardo Blas Jr
While Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt grab the headlines, little-known athletes from around the world keep alive the original spirit of the Olympics.
Athletes spend years eating the right foods ... and then must resist the free fast food in the Olympic village. How do they do it?
ADVERTISEMENT