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Double-decker bus trip to London 2012
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09:24, September 13, 2008

The journey to the London 2012 Games will continue to be told on a double-decker bus in an eight-minute segment at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics on Wednesday, organizers said on Friday.

"For the first time in Olympic history, the two handover ceremonies at the Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremonies are linked. They are two halves of one show," Martin Green, head of ceremonies of the London Olympic organizing committee, said.

The photo taken on Aug. 24, 2008 shows a red double-decker bus during the eight-minute performance prepared by London, host city of the next summer Olympic Games in 2012, at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games closing ceremony held in the National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest, Beijing, capital of China.(Xinhua Photo)

London presented an eight-minute handover performance centered around a double-decker bus at the closing of the Beijing Olympics on Aug 24.

Performers presented aspects of London life including newspapers and umbrellas, while English soccer star David Beckham kicked a football to mark the start of the countdown to the 2012 event.

"We wanted a symbol of London that is recognized around the world immediately. We believe the red double-deck bus is a very famous symbol of London," Green said.

London's segment at the closing ceremony of this year's Paralympics will showcase the next generation, he said.

"In the first show, we used people who are at the top of their game and recognized for being the best in the world, because they are the people that inspire the next generation," Green said.

"People who perform at our Paralympic show are the next generation. That's why you will see a young cast and young performers who are just breaking onto the international stage.

"Then you have the balance between those who inspire and those who are inspired," he said.

Steven Powell is the creative director of the two handover ceremonies. The theater and live events director is also a TV producer and writer.

The double-decker bus slated to be the central feature of London's coming segment will convey the idea of journey and transformation, he said.

The bus will enter the National Stadium the same way it left at the end of the recent Olympic handover - as an open-top vehicle. It will "close" and "head back" to London when it leaves the stadium.

"The bus symbolized a journey, not just to China but also toward the Games in 2012," Powell said.

"The transformation or the opening of the bus was an image that suggested the transformation of areas of London and the UK for the Olympic Games and also the transformative power of the Olympic Games," he said.

"If the Olympic handover was the journey to Beijing, then the Paralympic handover segment is the journey home."

To show a connection between culture and sports, the performances will involve past and present Paralympic athletes from Britain.

Source: China Daily/Agencies

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