Selangor Journal
Fireworks display during the closing ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, at the Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr, Birmingham, UK, on August 8, 2022. — Picture via FACEBOOK/BERNAMA

So long Birmingham, see you in Victoria!

BIRMINGHAM, Aug 9 — And that’s a wrap!

After 11 days of passionate and resolute performances from over 5,000 athletes from 72 nations, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games finally came to a fitting end at a packed-out Alexander Stadium, Perry Barr here last night.

Apart from spectacular lighting and amazing fireworks that lit up the Brum sky, spectators were treated to a musical extravaganza of past, present and future from local artistes of West Midlands, including the likes of Wolverhampton’s Beverly Knight, Jaykae and Goldie.

Not to forget, it also featured a special appearance by the Dexys Midnight Runners, who performed their smash hit, “Come on Eileen”, which topped the charts in the United Kingdom as well as the United States of America in 1982.

The event also paid tribute to the cultural impact of “Peaky Blinders” – a television series about a street gang based in Birmingham – which highlighted a sequence from the dance theatre show “Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby”.

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Dame Louise Martin, who took to the stage to deliver her speech, described Birmingham 2022 as ‘bold, buzzing and brilliant’ and heaped praise on all the athletes who rose to the challenge to deliver a stunning show over the last 11 days.

She then presented the David Dixon Award for the outstanding athlete of the Games to Singapore paddler Feng Tianwei, who helped her team complete a clean sweep in women’s team, singles and doubles events, here.

While Nigeria-born singer Jacob Banks delivered a wonderful performance, the Commonwealth flag, a proud symbol of friendship, that was raised in the stadium during the opening ceremony on July 28 was then lowered, thus, signifying the end of Birmingham 2022.

Dame Louise then hand the flag over to Linda Dessau, the Governor of Victoria, as the city in Australia is set to host the next Games in March 2026, where it will deliver the first true multi-city Commonwealth Games in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Gippsland.

What followed was a cultural segment from the indigineous people of Victoria before Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, called on the athletes to celebrate the upcoming Games and declared Birmingham 2022 closed.

The ‘Prince of Darkness’ and legendary rock star from Birmingham, Ozzy Osbourne was indeed a surprise package towards the end of the closing ceremony, performing “Paranoid” to cap off a magical night in Birmingham.

Thank you Birmingham, see you in Victoria 2026!

— Bernama

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