London Olympics wrap up, U.S. medal count of 104 tops all other countries

(From L) Spice Girls' Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham perform during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the Olympic stadium in London on August 12, 2012. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/GettyImages) GABRIEL BOUYS

(CBS News) The 2012 Summer Olympics are over after a spectacular finale in London and two final gold medals for the United States.

The U.S. won 104 medals in all, more than any other country. That final count includes 46 gold medals, the most Americans have ever won in an Olympics held outside the United States.

Complete coverage of 2012 London Olympics

China finished second in total medals, followed by Russia, Britain, and Germany.

In the final competitions earlier in the day, the marathon was won by the surprising Stephen Kiprotrich of Uganda, who nobody had bet on.

And the U.S. men's basketball team - who everybody had bet on - faced its win-or-else showdown with Spain. Losing was not an option for the American NBA stars, but somebody forgot to tell the Spanish NBA stars. It was a one-point game going down to the wire until the U.S. pulled away with the help of the Miami Heat's Lebron James.

James said, "This is all about USA you know and it's not about me, it's about these three letters on our chest. We're happy that we were able to represent our country and bring home the gold."

To finish off the games, Britain held an over-the-top closing ceremony. But it faced a problem: the beginning of the games. The opening ceremony had been such a gloriously wacky take on Britain and so well-received that the closing ceremony was left with a hard act to follow.

The response was to bring in just about all the guns of British pop culture of the past five decades. Some were even brought back from the dead.

You knew you were in for an evening of mixed emotions when a fleet of glitzed-up London taxis arrived and the Spice Girls got out and performed a medley of their hit, "Wannabe."

The world decided about 15 years ago that what it "really really wanted" was for the Spice Girls to stop. But the Girl Power they famously marketed was a theme of these games so - why not?

And then the athletes assembled on Damien Hirst's Union Jack flag for the games' conclusion. There were some unexpected contributors who hadn't been seen for awhile, including John Lennon. ''Imagine'' was heard as his image appeared first in picture form and then in a sculpture that exploded. Resurrecting Freddie Mercury was stranger still. Having the audience do a chant response to him bordered on creepy. After that, Eric Idle's Monty Python, "Bright Side of Life" seemed like a moment of sanity.

After the requisite thank-yous the flag was passed to Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Olympics. Olympic culture began the transition from British cool kitsch to Brazilian hot samba. But whatever happens during the games, though, they always end the same way - with fireworks.

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips returned to the CBS News London bureau as a correspondent in 1993. He has covered many major stories since then, including the war in the Balkans, the death of Princess Diana and the weapons inspection conflicts in Iraq.

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