There were so many wonderful moments in the closing ceremony for the Olympic Games, but surely few were as memorable as the appearance of three specially-made Rolls-Royce cars in the stadium.
How proud staff at the company’s production plant at Goodwood must have been as the trio of beautiful cars purred around what had been the running track.
The appearance of the cars, used to chauffeur stars of the show as they sang to the assembled thousands, was a fitting demonstration of one of the strongest brands this country has ever produced on a night when the Great in Britain was celebrated with huge gusto.
Rolls-Royce has yet to decide what to do with the three vehicles.
We hope that they become part of the Games legacy, being sold to the highest bidder – as is a vast collection of Olympics memorabilia – to raise money to further strengthen the nation’s sporting prowess.
Our athletes have done this country proud, with the highest medals tally in more than 100 years.
That has been borne of the individual effort of those who were higher, faster and stronger than their competitors, but it is also the result of a collective investment in sporting opportunity.
And it is not only the elite few who have benefited from that. All who have used new facilities or been given expert coaching have gained from the experience.
So the memorable and quirkily British closing ceremony had plenty to celebrate. It was an impressive way in which to bring down the curtain on the 30th modern Olympiad, just as the opening ceremony was a dynamic start to the world’s greatest sports gathering.
Rio might be the capital of carnival, but we reckon that the Brazilians, already starting to think about their own ceremonies in four years’ time, have an extremely tough act to follow.
This has been a memorable Olympic gathering at which the British – famed the world over for stiff upper lips and a sense of reserve – showed the world a sense of passion and good humour that will live long in the memory.