Last night saw the culmination of seven weeks, tens of thousands of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and one big star-studded party to close proceedings with a bang. Love them or hate them, Coldplay filled the 80,000 capacity Olympic stadium with their iconic anthems, joined by America’s finest – Jay Z and Rihanna – plus a host of disabled performers, including the British Paralympic Orchestra and the Candoco Dance Company.
From the twists and turns of Danny Boyle’s much-applauded spectacle to Stephen Hawking’s fantastical history of science in the Paralympics Opening Ceremony, Twitter has been ever-vocal in its reaction to the festivities. And last night was no different…
“Steampunk” was the ceremony’s opening theme, as mechanical ships with puffing smoke engines rolled into the stadium, flanked by a giant mechanical fish and energetic dancers.
The haggard beauty of the stage props were appreciated by tweeters, with Billy Bragg sharing:
And it wasn’t long before top-billed Coldplay hit the centre of the stadium, bursting into song with Us Against the World. The headliners played an extended set, prompting a wave of reaction from the Twittersphere.
Jimmy Carr ditched his trademark sarcasms to tweet:
With Gwyneth Paltrow - wife of Coldplay's lead singer, Chris Martin, adding:
But the length of their performance sparked a Twitter debate, with comedian John O’Sullivan choosing to express his opinions through the medium of photography…
And comedian Frankie Boyle being his usual controversial self:
… comments met with agreement by some 2,300 retweeters.
As the band were joined on stage by special guests Rihanna and Jay Z, athletes and celebrities expressed their excitement. Double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah tweeted:
While Scott Bryan took full advantage of his big moment:
Famous faces packed out the electric stadium, including Sherlock’s very own Benedict Cumberbatch, who was spotted by Grazia fashion director Charlie Miller boogying along to Rihanna… She even got a photo with him, lucky girl!
Clare Balding – Olympic and Paralympic TV presenter (and newly-appointed national treasure) seemed willing to go the extra mile to prevent the Games from coming to an end…
And as the flags were handed over, she became increasingly desperate:
Someone give the woman a hug. Caitlin Moran has us in full agreement here…
But the last word should be left to the Paralympic athletes – the stars of the show who have given the British public so much to celebrate over the past eleven days.
Martine Wright - the sitting volleyball player who lost both legs during the 2005 London bombings - shared her thoughts:
While four-time gold medallist (and all-round superwoman) Sarah Storey, announced,
And to finish, in the words of London 2012…