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London 2012: Closing Time

Getty Images / Scott Heavey

London 2012: Closing Time

We're sorry to see another Olympics come to a close today – especially one that has been as special as London 2012. Records have been broken, medals have been awarded, and now the 2012 Olympic Games, like all good things, must come to an end.

But we still have the closing ceremony to enjoy… and that puts us in the mood to watch highlights of Olympic opening and closing ceremonies past, tipping our hats once more to the Olympians who won our hearts years ago.

Berlin 1936
Jesse Owens narrated this footage of the 1936 closing ceremony in Berlin, shifting the focus from the prevalent Nazi imagery to the camaraderie and athleticism of the competitors.

Melbourne 1956
In Melbourne, a new standard was set – it was the first time the athletes from different countries marched together in unity at the closing ceremonies, rather than marching by country. The deeply symbolic idea came from a young local, and has been repeated at every Olympics since.

Munich 1972
In Munich, the closing ceremony took place just a few days after 11 Israeli team members were killed in a horrific terrorist act. After a memorial service, the Olympics went on, but for many athletes it was difficult to feel festive as they mourned their fellow Olympians.

Los Angeles 1984
In 1984's opening ceremonies, the U.S. showed us a glimpse of the future with a "rocket man" in a jetpack. The display of all the participating nations' flags in the stadium stands was impressive as well.

Atlanta 1996
Atlanta's cauldron-lighting was emotional and memorable, as great Olympians carried the torch to its destination.

Beijing 2008
It’s hard to top the Beijing opening ceremony with 2008 drummers performing in unison…

London 2012
But London certainly tried – and with the forging of the Olympic rings, the stunningly symbolic many-into-one cauldron lighting, and a royal entrance to beat all, they certainly made an impression. We can't wait to see what London has in store for us today with the closing ceremony…

And in four more years, Rio 2016 is sure to have us all riveted.

Written by Linnea Crowther and Jessica Campbell