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The Baku 2015 European Games Closing Ceremony was acclaimed by audiences across the world tonight as the James Hadley directed show captured Azerbaijan’s rich tapestry of different colours, peoples, traditions and influences amidst a blaze of 10,000 pyrotechnics.
More than 68,000 people inside the Baku Olympic Stadium and a potential broadcast audience of 800 million reveled in a show which reflected Azerbaijan’s dance, music of Uzeyir Hajibayli and poet Ahmad Javad and architecture with the world renowned Maiden and Flame Towers taking centre stage.
The spectacular show pays tribute not only to the 6,000 athletes who travelled to Baku to compete in the inaugural European Games but also the Flamekeepers whose energy, enthusiasm and remarkable dedication have contributed to the success of Baku 2015.
Merhiban Aliyeva, Chair of the Baku 2015 European Games Organising Committee and First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Patrick Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committees, delivered the closing speeches – watched from the stands by hundreds of Flamekeepers who provided a link into the celebration of youth.
After international music acts led by DJ Gareth Emery, Jon Newman and Clean Bandit entertained the crowd watching – both in the stadium and by around 10,000 down on the shores of the Caspian Sea in Baku’s famous Bulvar – the cauldron’s flames slowly faded.
Fifty children, representing all 50 competing nations, gathered at the cauldron’s edge. One child captured the light of the Games with her lantern before sharing it with the other children. As they walk to middle of the stage they passed the evening performers whose lanterns also lit up.
The 280 lanterns were then attached to an enormous chandelier which then rose signifying the European Games flame would never did in the hearts of the Azerbaijani people.