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                                              THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF
                                              THE OLYMPIC GAMES
                                              UPDATE - JUNE 2012

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION                              parade of flags of the countries participating in
                                                     the Games. The Greek flag opens the march
The modern Olympic Games encompass more              and the host country’s flag brings up the rear.
than just the drama and excitement of a sporting     Each flag is generally carried by an athlete
competition. Thanks to the vision of their           chosen by his/her National Olympic Committee
founder, Pierre de Coubertin, and the creative       (NOC).
efforts of various host city organisers, the
ceremonial aspects of the Olympic Games have
                                                     PARADE        OF     ATHLETES:          This is
served to set them apart from other international
                                                     immediately followed by the athletes’ parade.
sports competitions. The protocol and splendour
                                                     They walk en masse and in no particular order
of the Olympic ceremonies, which go hand-in-
                                                     during this parade. For the Games of the
hand with the celebration of the Games as
                                                     Olympiad, the athletes enter the stadium after
everyone knows them today, make this event a
                                                     the artistic programme and remain in the centre
unique and unforgettable festival. Although
                                                     of the field. For the Winter Games, the athletes
there was a Closing Ceremony at the Games of
                                                     march is near the beginning of the Ceremony,
the Olympiad in 1896 in Athens, it bore only the
                                                     and the athletes take seats reserved for them in
slightest resemblance to today’s ceremonies. In
                                                     the audience. The idea of having all the athletes
fact, some of the elements of Olympic protocol
                                                     parade in no order comes from a young Chinese
that have become a part of today’s traditions
                                                     man, John Ian Wing, an apprentice carpenter in
were only gradually established over time
                                                     Australia for the 1956 Games in Melbourne.
through a series of adaptations to the
                                                     Before these Games, the athletes marched
ceremonies of early editions of the Games.
                                                     behind their flag-bearer, as at the Opening
A Closing Ceremony must be organised on the          VICTORY CEREMONY: After the athletes’
last day of the Games. It must be held in the        parade, a medals ceremony is held. The IOC,
Olympic stadium, normally after all the events.      with the help of the OCOG, decides which event
Here are the protocol elements which are now         will have its medals ceremony during the
an integral part of the Closing Ceremony:            Closing Ceremony (it is generally the marathon
                                                     for the Summer Games). For the first editions of
ENTRY BY THE HEAD OF STATE: The                      the Games, all the medals were presented on
first element is the entrance of the head of state   the last day.
of the host country (or his/her representative)
accompanied by the President of the                  INTRODUCTION OF THE ATHLETES’
International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the        COMMISSION’S NEWLY ELECTED
President of the Organising Committee for the        MEMBERS AND RECOGNITION OF
Olympic Games (OCOG).                                THE VOLUNTEERS: The next protocol
                                                     element is the presentation of the athletes
PLAYING   OF     THE       NATIONAL                  elected by their peers to the IOC Athletes’
ANTHEM: Then the national anthem of the              Commission. On behalf of the athletes, one of
host country is played and its flag hoisted in the   these new members then presents a bouquet of
Olympic stadium.                                     flowers to a representative of the volunteers as
                                                     a tribute and mark of gratitude for their work
ENTRY OF NATIONS’ FLAGS: One of                      carried out during the Games.
the key moments of a Closing Ceremony is the

                                                                                              Page 1/2
PLAYING OF THE GREEK NATIONAL                             last element, this time it is certain: the Games
ANTHEM: The seventh protocol element is                   are over.
the Greek flag being raised to the left of the
Olympic flag. The Greek national anthem is then           LIST OF MAYORS WHO HAVE
played. This is a symbol of the link between the          HANDED OVER AND RECEIVED THE
Games of Antiquity and those of the modern                OLYMPIC FLAG
era. The flag of the next host country is then            Olympic                       From                        To
raised to the right of the flag of the current host       Games
country to the sound of its anthem.                       Seoul 1988                    Kim Yong-nae                Pasqual Maragall
                                                          Barcelona                     Pasqual Maragall            Maynard
LOWERING THE OLYMPIC FLAG                                 1992                                                      Jackson (Atlanta)
AND FLAG HANDOVER CEREMONY:                               Atlanta 1996                  Bill Campbell               Frank Sartor
Then comes a solemn moment as the Olympic                                                                           (Sydney)
                                                          Sydney 2000                   Frank Sartor                Dimitris L.
flag is lowered to the sound of the Olympic
anthem. The mayors of the current host city and                                                                     (Athens)
next host city join the IOC President. The mayor          Athens 2004                   Dora Bakoyannis             Wang Qishan
of the host city hands the flag to the IOC                                                                          (Beijing)
President, who hands it to the mayor of the next          Beijing 2008                  Guo Jinlong                 Boris Johnson
host city. This handover is a symbolic highlight.
The flag will usually be displayed in the town
                                                          Calgary 1988                    Ralph Klein               Henri Dujol
hall of the host city over the next four years.                                                                     (Albertville)
                                                          Albertville 1992                Henri Dujol               Audun Tron
NEXT  HOST       CITY      ARTISTIC                                                                                 (Lillehammer)
                                                          Lillehammer                     Audun Tron                Tasuku Tsukada
SEGMENT: To further mark this transition                  1994                                                      (Nagano)
from one city to another, an artistic segment of          Nagano 1998                     Tasuku Tsukada            Deedee Corradini
the Closing Ceremony, lasting eight minutes, is                                                                     (Salt Lake City)
                                                          Salt Lake              City     Rocky Anderson            Sergio
devoted to the next host city. This segment is an         2002                                                      Chiamparino
invitation to the youth of the world to attend the                                                                  (Turin)
next Games.                                               Turin 2006                      Sergio                    Sam Sullivan
                                                                                          Chiamparino               (Vancouver)
                                                          Vancouver 2010                  Gregor                    Anatoliy
OCOG PRESIDENT’S SPEECH AND                                                               Robertson                 Pakhomov
IOC PRESIDENT’S SPEECH: After this                                                                                  (Sochi)
segment of the Ceremony, which projects us
into the future, the OCOG President delivers a            IMPRINT
speech thanking the athletes and volunteers,
before giving the floor to the IOC President, who         THE CLOSING CEREMONY                                              05 June 2012
declares the Games closed and invites the                 OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES

youth of the world to come together for the next          A publication of the                        For further information, please contact
edition of the Olympic Games four years later.
                                                                                                               Olympic Studies Centre
EXTINGUISHING OF THE OLYMPIC                                                            Château de Vidy,
                                                                                        1007 Lausanne,
                                                                                                               Tel. +41 21 621 63 18
                                                                                                               Fax +41 21 621 67 18
FLAME: The last protocol element is                                                     Switzerland  

undoubtedly the most moving: the Olympic
flame is extinguished in the stadium. With this

The Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games / 5 June 2012                                                                       Page 2/2

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