It was a more than an appropriate way to sign off from the sporting action at this magnificent cauldron of noise and light. Oscar Pistorius, the South African "Blade Runner" who has been a constant and sometimes controversial presence over London's glorious summer of sport, capped it by retaining the 400m crown he values above all others.
Pistorius had promised another capacity crowd "something special" in his 11th race across both Games after cruising through his heat and he did not disappoint, blowing away the opposition to win his first individual gold of the Games. A "proud" Pistorius, who exploded with delight and relief as he crossed the line, took the honour of being the last to win a gold in the Olympic Stadium – and the latest to pay tribute to the crowd.
"It was very special to me. It was the last event of my season and the last event of the Games," said the South African, who has been under intense pressure. "I was very nervous before today's race, I was quite tired, but the crowd just kept me going."
Exploding out of the blocks and onto the shoulder of Alan Oliveira, the young Brazilian who beat him in the 200m but appeared to be carrying an injury. Pistorius was well ahead by the time they rounded the first bend and it rapidly became clear that this was not going to be a race but a procession. He rounded the final band some 20 metres ahead of Blake Leeper and crossed the line almost three-and-a-half seconds ahead of the American in a new Paralympic record of 46.68 seconds.
The idiosyncrasies of the classification system were again highlighted by the fact that the single amputee David Prince broke the T44 world record but finished with a bronze in 50.61 seconds. The International Paralympic Committee has promised to try and split the categories in time for Rio.
If Pistorius had hurt his image with his outburst about the length of the blades worn by his competitors after the 200m final, then no one appeared to have told the 80,000 crowd inside the Olympic Stadium. They again cheered him long and loud before and after the race.
"I'm so proud. This summer has been a dream come true. Locog have done the most amazing Olympic and Paralympic Games. It's been a blessing," concluded a clearly relieved Pistorius after the race.
He admitted that he had been unsure how his new rival Oliveira, who ran in the lane outside him, would approach the race. In his heat, he had blasted the first 200m then almost jogged the rest.
Settling into his blocks in front of Thomas Heatherwick's now familiar cauldron that has burned throughout the summer, Pistorius looked more relaxed at the start than he did before his shock defeat to Oliveira.
A cursory look at the times of those competing confirmed Pistorius's status as a hot favourite: his fastest this season was more than two seconds faster than the next best – Leeper. And his personal best was a huge five seconds faster than anyone in the field.
It was in the 400m that Pistorius first started to blur the lines between Olympian and Paralympian and it was in his favoured event that he became the first amputee athlete to compete in the track in both Games.
But if Pistorius and his advisers had envisaged this summer as the crowning achievement of a glorious and ground-breaking career, the reality as ever has been rather more complicated. He won respect and admiration in the Olympics, but was accused of sour grapes after raising the issue of blade length immediately after losing his 200m title in the Paralympics.
Perhaps inevitably, it is Pistorius who has personified many of the issues around these Games – from the vastly increased profile that has made him one of the most recognisable sportsmen on the planet to the complex debates about classification and technology that the movement will have to wrestle with as it makes the most of the step change London has provided.
Most of all, he has proved he is not only a supreme athlete but human after all. Not only has he lost two of the three titles he won in Beijing, but he was forced to apologise for the timing of his outburst after the 200m final.
"The beauty of life is that you're always learning. It's easy to be gracious when you win but to be humble when you lose is not so easy and I've had to learn that," he said after helping the South Africans to gold in the 4 x 100m.
Yet last night he proved he had the drive, the desire and the speed to stay well ahead in his signature event.
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