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How to watch the London Olympics Closing Ceremony

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If what you want, what you really, really want, is a London Games Closing Ceremony sneak preview, then let this blog be your guide.

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The ceremony will be broadcast live in the U.K. at 9 p.m. local time and NBC, which took a lot of heat for not making the Opening Ceremony available until hours after the fact, will live stream it on www.nbcolympics.com when it begins at 4 p.m. ET. As has been the case throughout the Games, only those with a cable or satellite subscription will have access to the live feed. NBC will air the event in prime time from 7-10 p.m. on both coasts, likely with portions edited out as was the case for the Opening Ceremony. To get in on the action from across the pond, join Yahoo! Sports experts and editors at 3:45 p.m. ET Sunday for live coverage, commentary and chatting.

"A Symphony of British Music" is the title of the 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony and will be directed by Kim Gavin. Gavin, who directed the sold out Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in 2007, is widely known in the United Kingdom as one of the most creative directors and choreographers in the world. The BBC called Kim "a master at choreographing events on a grand scale."

"For the Closing Ceremony we will not only be working with our most globally successful musicians, but we also want to use this opportunity to showcase our stars of tomorrow," Gavin told the BBC.

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Many of the ceremony's details are being withheld from the general public much like Danny Boyle's awe-inspiring Opening Ceremony. Yet, some of those "globally successful musicians" have already been confirmed, including British rockers Muse, who will be performing their Olympic-inspired song "Survival." Also confirmed to pay tribute to British music over the past 50 years are the Spice Girls, Adele, the Who, and members of Pink Floyd, reports the L.A. Times.

Speaking to Neil McCormick of the Telegraph, Closing Ceremony music director David Arnold said:

"If the Opening Ceremony was the wedding, then we're the wedding reception. We're the one where everyone gets out of their cars at the village hall, goes 'Wasn't that lovely, everyone looked great, let's put on Blame It On the Boogie and have a laugh … It needs to be something where everyone, including the athletes, is going to be able to let off steam. There are seven and a half thousand of them there, so it's a show for them all to get involved with, and hopefully it will wrap up the spirit of what these Games have been, which is slightly anarchic, slightly mischievous, funny, heart-warming, emotional, inspiring, and uniquely British."

In addition to being a celebration of British music, the Closing Ceremony must adhere to guidelines set out in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) charter. According to the official website of the London 2012 Olympic Games, "there are certain elements that must feature as outlined in the IOC Charter." This includes the Raising of the Flags, the March of the Athletes, the handover of the Olympic flag and the Extinguishing of the Flame.

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Unlike the Opening Ceremony in which athletes march according to their nationality, the Closing Ceremony's March of the Athletes has all the competitors march together in a single file line as a sign of solidarity between the countries. Then, three flags will be raised while the corresponding national anthem is played. First, the Greek flag to honor the birthplace of the Games, then the flag of the host nation, and finally the flag of the next host nation, Brazil in 2016, is raised.

After the raising of the flags, London Mayor Boris Johnson will symbolically return the Olympic flag to IOC President Jacques Rogge who, in turn, will hand the flag over to the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes. Rogge then declares the Games officially over and the flame which has burned in the cauldron since the Opening Ceremony will be put out.

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