BEIJING - The curtain on the 29th Olympic Games of the modern era - said to be the best of all in what is known as the greatest spectacle on this planet - came down in a splendid ceremony rounded off with dazzling fireworks that painted the Beijing sky in all the colours of a rainbow. To even a casual onlooker it seemed that China, after showing its vim and vigour in the sporting arenas and in organisation that has been described by all and sundry only in superlatives, was intent on showing the world at the conclusion of the Games that it had arrived big time - and not just in sporting terms. The Olympic flag was passed on to London, through its mayor Boris Johnson. And though some sceptics here believed that 2012 Games would not be a patch on Beijing's effort, the slickly produced multicultural promotion here - with David Beckham kicking the soccer ball in the stadium off the top of a London double-decker bus - drew cheers as loud as any and reinforced the informed view that London would try its damnedest to match or surpass what has happened here. The Beckham appearance was preceded by famed guitarist Jimmy Page accompanying Leona Lewis to reproduce the 1970s rock classic "Whole Lotta Love...". That said, the only thing where London may lack is the wall-to-wall smile of the thousands of volunteers that has won Beijing and China so many hearts around the world. The warmth that is heart and soul of the Orient maybe slightly difficult to reproduce in a land where 'stiff upper lip' abounds. China at the acme As the Games concluded, China was on the top in sweepstakes in terms of its bullion haul - its tally of golds a whopping 51, leaving the United States of America a distant second, with Russia maintaining some semblance of pride in ending third with 23 and Great Britain being a rather surprising fourth with 19. More reflective of China's supremacy (it had just one gold in 1984 Games at Los Angeles and 32 at Athens in 2004) is the fact that though the USA finished on top in terms of overall medal count (110 to China's even 100) is that the unassailability of the host in terms of gold count was obvious midway through the Games. Despite a few politically-inspired hiccups during torch relay across the world, especially in the West, China has gained more than it could have expected when it won the right to host the Games seven years ago. Awareness about environment and sports among the masses that the Beijing Games spawned has imbued the Chinese as a nation to look beyond the Olympics with optimism to solve problems that may have seemed unsolvable then. None in the 90,000 almost capacity-packed Bird Nest disagreed with Jacques Rogge when he said that these Games were "truly exceptional" and that through it "the world learned more about China and China learned more about the world". The spectacle was indeed exceptional in more ways that one. In 302 events in which a world record number of athletes contested, around 40 world and 100 Olympic records were eclipsed. The hosts may have scored big on almost every count but the Games, as it should be, are not supposed to be just the triumph of a nation even if it does as well as China has, but that of human spirit. And the two foremost to emerge from these Games were Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt -the two once in a generation, if not a lifetime champions - with one setting the Water Cube ablaze and the other illuminating the path with his lightning pace. It is sad, but one should not make the fall of Pakistan hockey an issue at this point, though one does not have to let it go in the days to come.