Ozzy Osbourne makes surprise appearance at Commonwealth Games closing ceremony

·2-min read
Ozzy Osbourne makes surprise appearance at Commonwealth Games closing ceremony

Ozzy Osbourne and some of the UK’s greatest musical talent brought the curtain down on the Commonwealth Games on a journey that detailed the history of Birmingham.

Acts such as Jorja Smith, Beverley Knight, Panjabi MC, Goldie, UB40 and Dexys were also on the line-up at a lively closing ceremony for the multi-sport event.

Over 11 days, 4,500 athletes from 72 nations competed across 19 sports. The games were originally set to be held in Durban but were awarded to in Birmingham in 2017 when the South African bid fell apart due to financial constraints.

Through song and dance, different stages of the city’s make-up were illustrated such as their rise to become an industrial and manufacturing powerhouse in front of a 30,000-strong crowd and millions on television.

After the historical reflection, athletes who have starred in the games paraded into the Alexander Stadium, which had been rebuilt for the games.

The second part of the closing ceremony had more of a party feel including a section dedicated to the south Asian diversity of Birmingham and a nod to the difficulties they have faced. Later, the culture of Birmingham was celebrated - with Laura Mvula performing alongside a dance themed around Birmingham-set drama Peaky Blinders.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, closed the ceremony on behalf of the Queen.

Goldie and Beverley Knight perform on stage during the Closing Ceremony for the 2022 Commonwealth Games (PA)
Goldie and Beverley Knight perform on stage during the Closing Ceremony for the 2022 Commonwealth Games (PA)

Birmingham residents reported the city centre being “busier than ever” during the Games with spending expected to have given the city a welcome economical boost.

As well as putting on a show to mark the return from lockdown - with Tokyo 2020 having played out behind closed doors - the Games also aimed to showcase the best of Birmingham, a city, a resident told the BBC, was often maligned for “its accent and its concrete”.

Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands John Crabtree, who fronted the bid, said: “Thank you for the gift of the games. We hope we have not let you down.

“Birmingham 2022 fully demonstrated what makes the city and region so special.”

Australia finished top of the medal table, based on the number of golds (67) and total awarded (178) with England second in both categories - taking 57 and 176 respectively. Australia has topped every medal table since 1978 - when Canada came first - while the last time England was on top was 1966.

BBC commentators referenced Eilish McColgan’s victory in the women’s 10,000m, Laura Kenny’s victorious return to the cycling track, and Aaron Gate’s four cycling gold medals for New Zealand as among their highlights.

The ceremony concluded with a hand-over to 2026 host Victoria - the Australian state which will host sports around cities Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo as well as Melbourne, the 2006 games host.