An eight-minute performance prepared by London, host city of the next summer Olympic Games in 2012, was staged in the National Stadium on Sunday night at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games.
A big red double-decker bus, marking London-Beijing-London, ran into the Bird Nest and moved around the Stadium at 9:10 p.m. (Beijing Time) to start the eight-minute London performance.
The bus was accompanied by cyclists Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade, dressed not as Olympians but as ordinary riders down the ground, symbolizing Oxford Street of Park Lane.
The performers were starting to see a well-trodden image of ordinary London life, with the National Stadium turned into a London street.
The bus was driven to a bus stop. A queue of London characters were waiting at the bus stop next to a pedestrian zebra crossing. The queue was played by three dance groups.
The bus came to a halt at the bus stop and a child, Tayyiba Dudhwala, got off the bus from east London.
The nine-year-old girl was chosen in a competition of the viewers of Britain's most famous children's TV programme, BBC's "Blue Peter", to represent the children of Britain.
Tayyiba was met by Erika Tham with Chinese, Canadian, Malaysian and Ukraine heritage, who represented the rest of the world.
Erika made a presentation to Tayyiba of a soccer. This represented a child's more simple approach to the formal handover of Olympic flag -- a treasured gift was handed over.
Then the London bus took a dramatic transformation. The hedge was cut into the shape of iconic London buildings including the Tower of London, Battersea Power Station, the Gherkin and St Paul's Cathedral.
This symbolized historic and modern London, and London 2012 Games' plans to use London landmarks such as Horse Guards Parade, the new Wembley Stadium, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the new Olympic Park, Hyde Park, Wimbledon and Lord's Cricket Ground as venues and backdrops for the Games, showcasing sports and athletes in stunning settings that will inspire audiences around the world.
Leona Lewis, a singer born in London, emerged on a rising lift from within the bus in a spectacular dress designed with students at the London College of Fashion.
The music reached a crescendo. A long guitarist rose through the stage and there was a pause. One of the world's most famous guitar riffs was played by Jimmy Page, a world-renowned guitarist and composer. The song that followed up was "Whole Lotta Love."
As the song reached its climax, a third and final lift emerged carrying a violinist and cellist (representing the London Symphony Orchestra who play on the track), dressed in British team sports kit, and the London child, Tayyiba, accompanied by soccer icon David Beckham.
David was handed the soccer by Tayyiba and kicked the ball into the crowd of athletes representing more than 200 nations and regions gathered in the Stadium for the closing ceremony.
This symbolised the power of sport to unite the world and the importance of sport for young people, a central theme of the London 2012 Games.
A group of people carried umbrellas gathered around the bus and covered up the sides of London bus. The umbrellas lighted up in colors.
The red London double-decker bus was heading out of the Stadium as a magical contemporary carnival float. The dancers got on the bus to create a dazzling screen of images and vibrant colors together with umbrellas.
This represented London was leaving a bold calling card for the youth of the world to reunite in the city for the 2012 Games. A Games that promises inspirational sport, diverse culture, a focus on young people and humanity.
The bus progressed to leave the Stadium at 9:18 p.m. to wrap up London's performance.
(Xinhua News Agency August 24, 2008)