It may not be as big of a spectacle as the opening ceremony, and it certainly doesn't bring with it the same amount of excitement, but Sunday's closing ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics is something you certainly won't want to miss.
There is no doubt that the opening ceremony offered a nice cornucopia of British music, but it was more about aesthetics to some degree.
According to the Associated Press, though, the closing ceremony is designed to be the world's biggest after party and will feature countless British musical icons performing for the crowd in attendance and those watching around the world.
Whereas the opening ceremony was, and often is, rooted in artistry, the closing ceremony aims to get everyone involved rather than being in awe of what is happening around them. Perhaps no nation in the world has a greater musical history than the United Kingdom, so the closing ceremony will be a sight to behold.
Here is everything you need to know about when and where to watch the closing ceremony, as well as what to expect in terms of performers and other features of the event.
Where: Olympic Stadium in London, England
When: Sunday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. ET
Potential Performers (via Associated Press)
Pet Shop Boys
The Spice Girls
Olympic Traditions to Watch
Marching of Athletes
The athlete march during the opening ceremony is one of the most entertaining and feel-good moments in all of sports, but the marching of athletes during the closing ceremony isn't far behind.
As has been tradition since the 1956 games in Melbourne, the flag bearers of each nation will enter the stadium first and will then be followed by all athletes emerging as one group.
While the opening ceremony is about showcasing each individual nation ahead of the Olympic competition, the closing ceremony brings them all together in a symbol of world unity. Considering how much fighting is going on in the world currently, there is no question that the marching of athletes at the closing ceremony provides hope and a vision toward which we can strive as a collective entity.
Raising of the Flags
The raising of the flags is a surreal moment during the closing ceremony, as it essentially marks the end of one Olympics and begins the next one.
As the originator of the Olympics, Greece will have its flag raised first, followed by the flag of Great Britain and finally the flag of Brazil. The national anthem of each will be played, and then the flags will be lowered.
The mayor of London will give International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge the Olympic flag back before it is presented to the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, which will host the 2016 Games.
Rogge will then announce the end of the London Olympics, and the wait for Rio will begin.
Extinguishing of Olympic Cauldron
Perhaps the saddest moment of the night is the extinguishing of the Olympic cauldron. The Olympic flame is a symbol of life for the Olympics, and once it is put out, the 2012 Games will be over.
At the same time, the Olympic flame is never truly put out because it symbolically exists in all of the athletes and everyone else who loves the Olympics.
No matter how many times the flame it put out, it is always resurrected in time for the next Olympics.
Many of us will be pretty bummed out late Sunday night when everything comes to a close, but we can rest assured that it is only temporary and everything will start again for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in two years.
And then again in Rio in 2016.
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