NBC Olympic Closing Ceremony 2012: Finale Trumped Massive Opening Spectacle

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  A general view of the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As exciting as the opening ceremony to the 2012 London Olympics was, it couldn't hold a candle to Sunday's closing ceremony that culminated in the ousting of the flame.

And that's the way it'll always be.

The opening ceremony is huge in its own way, and I'm doing nothing to bash the work that Great Britain did. It did a fantastic job of setting the stage for what was an amazing London Games. But the closing ceremony is always on a whole new level.

Upon the start of any Olympic Games, we're always presented with tons of athletes that are making the trip to the sports world's biggest event for the first time, but we aren't truly exposed to some of these athletes until they embark on their epic journeys and gold-medal aspirations that make the Olympics so exciting.

And when they do, we remember and recognize them. What once were just a bunch of parading people waving flags in the opening ceremony now strike up memories to the greatest moments of the Games when we see them stroll around the track in the closing ceremony. While we only recognize the superstars at first, the gold-medal winners from less-popular events start to stick out to us. 

It also doesn't hurt that the elite athletes are separated by the non-elite ones, just by noticing if a medal is hanging around their neck. 

One of the biggest staples in British history—as it is with any historic country—is music. And the closing ceremony did a brilliant job of outlining the massive amount of musical tradition that is present in the mainland of the United Kingdom. 

The directors even found a way to incorporate Britain's biggest musical icon in history, despite him no longer being alive. Beatles star John Lennon was shown on the Jumbotron performing the groundbreaking song "Imagine" as thousands of performers donned shirts promoting the famous, one-word slogan.

The incorporation of music into the closing ceremony didn't discriminate on age or musical preference, either. We were witnesses to everything from young top-hit icons One Direction to '90s pop fad Spice Girls to The Who to George Michael (and obviously, many more).

Talk about a wide target audience. 

The musical performances also allowed to coincide with the presentation of the countries. As the athletes were presented in the opening ceremony to track after track of random speaker music that seemed to drag on for hours, the closing ceremony included musical performances while highlighting countries and athletes during the show.

At the culmination of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, it was obvious that the closing ceremony heavily trumped the opening spectacle. 

Steven Cook is a TNT breaking news writer and Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter to chat about all the hot topics surrounding the world of sports.