LONDON — Rio mayor Eduardo Paes was worried about what his mop-topped counterpart would do at Sunday night’s Closing Ceremonies. “I’m just scared he’ll do something crazy when he hands over the flag,” he said. Like deliver it by zipline across the top of the stadium. Was there anyone who didn’t see the YouTube moment of Boris Johnson stranded and dangling above Victoria Park waving the Union Jack?
If the London hosts opened this global rave-up with Her Majesty parachuting out of the royal chopper with James Bond, what would they do for a finale? What they did was trot out every British cultural icon from decades past — from George Michael to Kate Moss to Annie Lennox to the Spice Girls to The Who — and turned over the party list to Rio de Janeiro, which in 2016 will be the first South American city to host the Summer Games.