The closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics got under way on Sunday, on a smaller scale and without fake elements, organizers promised, dpa reported.
The two-hour "great, glittering party" for the record 11,249 athletes from 204 countries was to feature an eight-minute firework, various Chinese features and the theme song "Forever Friends" co- written by Italian music producer Georgio Moroder and Chinese musician Kong Xiangdong.
This is due to be sung by nearly 70 pop stars from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries. Spanish tenor Placido Domingo is also due to perform a duet with Chinese soprano Song Zuying.
And - unlike the opening ceremony where there were pre-recorded elements and a mimed song - everything seen by television viewers worldwide will be live and genuine, organizers said.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge was to give his final verdict of the Games, close them officially and formally invite "the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in London to celebrate the Games of the XXX Olympiad." The Olympic flame was then to be extinguished.
London 2012 was due to present itself to the world for the first time in an eight-minute segment due to feature a double-decker bus and among others football icon David Beckham. London mayor Boris Johnson was to receive the Olympic flag.
The closing ceremony for the August 8-24 Games was to end with a giant party in the Bird's Nest stadium.