The city of Birmingham officially bid adieu to the Commonwealth Games 2022 late on August 9th with a memorable closing ceremony that celebrated the city’s multicultural heritage through a feast of pomp, colour, and music in front of a sold-out 30,000 capacity crowd at the Alexander Stadium.
After an exciting and competitive tournament where India finished a respectable 4th in the standings with 22 gold medals and a total of 61 medals, our Indian athletes were able to finally let their hair down and soak in the party atmosphere along with their counterparts from the Commonwealth. There were plenty of riveting performances to be enjoyed; the ceremony had everything, from a Peaky Blinders themed dance, to a rocking performance by legendary Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne, and even some vibrant Bhangra dance and grooves thrown in for good measure, as the crowd lapped up evergreen Punjabi hit song Mundiya Tu Bachke Rahi with gusto.
You can watch the surprise act from last night’s action here:
The event started with the athletes from the 72 participating nations, led by their respective flag-bearers, taking a walk around the Alexander Stadium, waving to their fans one last time. Table tennis ace Sharath Kamal and boxer Nikhat Zareen were chosen by the Indian Olympics Committee (IOC) to be India’s flag-bearers for the closing ceremony.
Thereafter started a tribute to the diverse musical flavours of the Midlands. Steven Kapoor, known by his stage name Apache Indian, kicked off the celebration by playing his popular hits from the 90s before the UB40 entertained the crowd with their oldie pop hit Red Red Wine. Following this, Goldie and Beverley Knight, stars from the local music scene at Wolverhampton which is part of the Midlands region, stepped up to pay tribute to their city’s cultural heritage, before Punjabi MC Lions of Punjab, a dance group based in the Midlands cranked up the heat with their colourful moves and grooves.
The audience was then treated to a “sexy and dark, but joyous” dance theatre show that would have gotten any fans of the Netflix hit series Peaky Blinders in the stadium on their toes.
The best was saved for last as there was a huge surprise performance from Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath, who got the 30,000-strong crowd rocking with their banger Paranoid.