Riding a wave of sporting euphoria after its best Olympic performance in a century, Britain has accepted Olympic host-nation status from China with a huge street party outside Buckingham Palace.
As the Beijing Games closed in a spectacular explosion of fireworks, London throbbed with 40,000 party-goers at a live concert to start the countdown to the London 2012 Olympics.
London Mayor Boris Johnson has promised a "fantabulous Olympics" in 2012, saying Britons would "draw on our wit, flair, imagination and ingenuity" to deliver the Games in "the home of sport".
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee says Beijing's organisational effort has increased expectations of the Games.
Committee president Jacques Rogge says he was pleased with the Beijing Games and hopes the 2012 Games in London can continue that success.
Mr Rogge says new stars have emerged at the Beijing Games, and people have shared their joys and tears.
audio:http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/mnr/2008/08/25/beijing_olympics_farewell_part_3]Hear more about the 2008 Games from Radio New Zealand reporter Monique Devereux in Beijing, on Morning Report