Unlike the often nervous Olympic Opening Ceremony, the Closing Ceremony are always a more relaxed party where the host country brings out its finest and the world celebrates the Olympic champions. Yet, I find that there is always a song that sums up the Olympics and the host country.
Although we know that The Who will perform at the London Closing Ceremony, there are rumors of a Spice Girls reunion, as well as Pink Floyd performing. Whatever the case, there will be a performance that will define London's Olympic Games.
Here are my five most defining Olympic Closing Ceremony musical performances:Kiss, Salt Lake 2002:
The 2002 Salt Lake Olympics were held just five months after 9-11. At this time, our country was healing and there was a possibility of war. Nothing felt the same in our country and many people were afraid that nothing was going to be the same.
And, there was fear of terrorism at these Games. Then Kiss came out, including long absent guitarist Ace Frehley. Dressed in full costume and playing the old favorite "Rock and Roll All Night," we all relaxed and enjoyed the music and the Kissette dancers. Kiss was a reminder of a happier time in our country's history, and their over-the-top performance was exactly what the U.S. needed.
Kylie Minogue, Sydney 2000:
I was at the Sydney Olympic Closing Ceremony and loved all of the musical performances. When Kylie Minogue came out, surrounded by bright pink lights and looking like a glamourous showgirl, she shown like a bright star as began to belt out "Dancing Queen." She was the epitome of these Sydney Olympics-and the Australian people. Just a little bit wacky, always ready for a party, and full of color and excitement. There were many exceptional performances, but hers stood out like a Baz Luhrmann musical.
Ricky Martin, Turin 2006:
When you think of sports anthems, there is nothing more meaningful and crowd-pleasing as Ricky Martin singing "The Cup of Life." Although Ricky is Puerto Rican, the Turin Olympics were about the world, and this half-Spanish, half-English song brought the world just a little bit closer. Ricky performed this song with gusto and with passion. Fantastic!
Atlanta Children, Atlanta 1996:
In the 1996 Atlanta Opening Ceremony, Celine Dion performed the beautiful song, "Power of the Dream." In the Closing Ceremony, this song was performed by the children of Atlanta. After the tragedy at the beginning of these Olympics, there was a sense of hope and a sense of starting over with each note these beautiful children sang. I think we all needed a tissue by the time this song was finished.
Neil Young, Vancouver 2010:
These Vancouver Olympics were about creating its own unique identity. I think a lot of people were a bit surprised to discover Neil Young was a Canadian in the first place--but that was just one of the surprised Canada had for the world. In his familiar plaid shirt, he performed "Long May You Run," which seemed to simply explain the united Canadian mantra.
Georgia Makitalo fell in love with the Olympics while watching the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games on television and attended the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Other Olympics Articles written by Georgia Makitalo:My Favorite Olympic Opening Ceremony: The 2004 Athens Summer Olympics
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