LONDON — Get the Union Jacks out and prepare to party: Olympic Stadium is being transformed into a giant jukebox of British pop and pizazz for the ceremony that wraps up the London Games.
The Spice Girls and The Who are among the acts celebrating two weeks of sporting competition with a finale today that artistic director Kim Gavin calls “a mashed-up symphony” of British hits.
Gavin – who has directed rock tours and London’s 2007 Princess Diana memorial concert – said Saturday he wants the spectacular to be “the best after-show party that’s ever been.”
The Who, George Michael, Muse and Ed Sheeran have all said they will take part in a show that will include performances of 30 British hit singles from the past five decades – whittled down by Gavin from a possible 1,000.
• NBC acknowledged some critics Saturday in announcing it changed plans and will stream today’s Olympic closing ceremony live online.
Today’s ceremony from London will still air on a tape-delayed basis on NBC in prime time.
MEDAL WITHHELD: A South Korean soccer player who held up a sign with a political message after a victory over Japan did not get a bronze when the Olympic medals were handed out in a ceremony to the rest of his team.
Midfielder Park Jong-woo is under investigation by the IOC and soccer's governing body, FIFA, for displaying the sign with a slogan supporting South Korean sovereignty over disputed islets that are claimed by both his country and Japan.
The largely uninhabited islets are called Dokdo by South Koreans and Takeshima by Japanese.
HURDLER EXPELLED: A female hurdler from Syria was kicked out of the Olympics after failing a drug test.
The IOC said 400-meter hurdler Ghfran Almouhamad tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine on Aug. 3.