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Live from Vancouver, it's the Winter Olympics closing ceremony

Closing

8:00: The show is over. One of the best closing ceremonies you will ever want to see. Well done, Canada. Thank you, Vancouver, for your hospitality and personal warmth. I consider myself part Canadian now.

7:55: Hip-hop dancers XXS and NON , along with freshh, Scrap Arts Music, Beat Nation Drummers, and Hip Hop of Vancouver close out the show.

7:50: Marie-Mai sings "Emmene-moi".

7:46: Hedley sings "Cha-Ching". The closing ceremony is ending with six notable Canadian musical acts singing. If the Games had been held in the U.S., what six would you choose?

7:42: Simple Plan sings "Your Love is a Lie". An interesting song title for an Olympics program. The athletes are holding on to each other on the arena floor. They must know the Games are almost over and it's almost time to say goodbye.

7:38: Alanis Morissette sings "Wunderkind". Alanis Morissette > Avril Lavigne. 

7:31: Avril Lavigne sings. She doesn't seem to be enjoying herself. She sang "My Happy Ending" and "Girlfriend".

7:28: Time for Nickelback to sing, as the show ends with a 30-minute concert featuring notable Canadian singers. The athletes flood the arena floor and dance to the music. Truly a wonderful sight. Nickelback sang "How You Remine Me" and Burn It to the Ground" and really lifted the energy in the arena.

7:20: Now a really weird part of the show, featuring giant inflatable mounties, giant plastic beavers, giant cardboard moose, and lumberjacks. It looks more like a show you'd put on if you wanted to make fun of Canada.

7:15: Michael Buble sings "Maple Leaf Forever". If you hate maple leaves, this is not the place for you.

7:11: Michael J. Fox comes out and gets a standing ovation. He says everyone who visits Canada is a Canadian from then on. He's right. This has been a great closing ceremony.

7:09: Catherine O'Hara comes out to give a brief slideshow review of the Games, poking fun at how polite Canadians are. Very funny.

7:04: Now a cultural display of Canada, hosted by William Shatner.

6:57: Neil Young hits the stage. Now we're talking. He sings "Long May You Run" as the Olympic flame is extinguished. Artificial snow falls from the ceiling as the flame goes out and the pillars retract back into the floor. Really beautiful.

6:50: The speeches are still going on. Make yourself some popcorn.

6:40: Everyone's favorite part: The speeches by VANOC CEO John Furlong and IOC President Jacques Rogge. Or as it is more commonly called: the bathroom break part of the show.

6:29: Now, performers from Sochi put on a presentation that includes giant inflatable snowballs, projected clouds, a "magic ball" and the Bolshoi ballet. Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.

6:24: The singing of the Russian national anthem. It would be great if they brought former WWE superstar out to sing it. Howard Finkel could say "Mr. Volkoff asks that you please rise...."

6:20: The Olympic flag, which has flown over the Games for 16 days, is officially lowered and handed to Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Sochi, Russia, which will host the next Winter Olympics in 2014.

6:18: The flag of Greece and its national anthem sung. Greece is the birthplace of the Olympics.

6:15: They officially recognize the volunteers who made these Games run so smoothly. Amen to that. Many of them stood for hours in cold and rain to make the Games enjoyable for athletes, visitors and media.

6:07: They are having the medal ceremony for today's cross-country ski race at the closing ceremony, which is really nice. It's probably the biggest crowd the three guys have ever been in front of, and is a nice moment for athletes whose sport is usually ignored in the U.S. The medalists: Gold: Petter Northug, Norway; Silver: Axel Teichmann, Germany; Bronze: Johan Olsson, Sweden.

6:03: The athletes have made it to their seats, and now Nikki Yanofsky, Derek Miller and Eva Avila are singing. As the winner of "Canadian Idol", Eva Avila is sort of the Carrie Underwood of Canada. Derek Miller is an Aboriginal singer-songwriter and Nikki Yanofsky sang the Canadian national anthem in the opening ceremony.

5:48: In Olympic tradition, all the athletes enter the arena at the same time, no longer separated by country, but together as one nation of athletes. This is the last moment of glory for many of these people, most of whom devoted most of their lives training for the Olympics. The joy on their faces is evident. And our hearts go out to the people in Chile and Georgia, for the tragedies they suffered during these Games.

5:45: Back to chanting Vancouver over and over again.

5:41: Now it's time for the always exciting arrival of the official party.

5:40: Now what is billed as "1,000 youth of Canada" (I only counted 998) come out and chant "Vancouver" for way too long. And they are all carrying snowboards.

5:30: Remember in the opening ceremony how one of the four pillars carrying the torch wouldn't raise up from the floor? Well, the closing ceremony opens with a clown coming out from the hole in the arena floor where the pillar is. He is carrying a wrench and pantomimes pulling the pillar into place. The pillar slowly rises into place, and Catriona LeMay Doan , who didn't get to light he torch in the opening ceremony, comes out and lights it. That may have been the best closing ceremony moment of all time. Just a beautiful and spot on way to open, poking fun at themselves. Well done.


Before the closing ceremony begins, let me just take the time to thank the people of Vancouver for a wonderful 19 days. The people here couldn't be nicer, from the volunteers who make sure the buses run on time, to the citizens walking the streets, to the athletes and people from around the world who were here.

Being from L.A., I was sort of hoping the U.S. would win today's hockey game, but after seeing what joy Canada's victory brought to so many people here, after watching the fans in the hockey arena give U.S. goalie Ryan Miller a lengthy ovation during the medal ceremony, and after watching them applaud the U.S. team in unison when it skated off the ice, I am happy that Canada won.

If any people deserved a moment to celebrate, it was the people here in Vancouver who worked so hard to make the Games a truly enjoyable experience. Thank you, Vancouver.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: The Olympic caldrom is finally complete. Credit: Cameron Spencer / Getty Images.

 
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Comments (21)

Thank You America for coming and being such fabulous and gracious visitors. You're the best

No one who knows Canadians will be the least surprised by these closing ceremonies. They are funny, satiric, sweet and self-deprecating. Nothing even remotely pompous or self-important here.

They have built a wonderful culture, in English and French, around the idea of kindness, mutual respect, and mutual aid.

Having done that, they then settle back and poke fun at themselves for having done so.

A great -- and utterly unique -- closing ceremony. I've never seen anything like it. VERY well done, neighbor.

Uhm...the part of the show with the giant flying moose and beavers, with the mounties and hockey players?!...well that's called making fun of oneself...another thing you Americans could never do!!!

"It looks more like a show you'd put on if you wanted to make fun of Canada." That's exactly what they were doing - we Canadians love to laugh at ourselves because we love to laugh and it's just rude to laugh at other people :)

Awesome ceremony. Pissed at NBC for cutting off the music portion to show "The Marriage Ref." ... but canada... nickelback? seriously, thats your worst band. Lets get some Rush going on.

That part with the beavers and the Mounties was meant to be tongue in cheek, making fun of all the classic Canadian stereotypes. A little weird Canadian humour for you there, eh.

Geez, ljrettie, lighten up.

I want to once again thank NBC for not showing the closing ceremony live. Brilliant decision, NBC. Sunday night reruns would have killed olympic ratings.

Thanks for your comments about Vancouver and the Olympics. I hope you have put to rest the strange notion that Canadians are strange and unfriendly. I am very proud of our musicians that were showcased - many with international reputations and the organizers of the show.

We in British Columbia enjoyed welcoming the world and our victory in the men's hockey game today was our reward. A well played game and it could have gone either way.

We will never forget these games.

I wasn't really impressed with most of the performances. I thought Alanis Morisette did good and looked very pretty, but other than her, It wasn't very good. Avril, like you said, just didn't seem happy to be there, and didn't give off a good vibe. She's lost it. And the rest..meh.

You almost had it perfect..The part of the ceremony with the Beavers, Mounties, ect was a tounge and cheek poke at Canadians themselves. Up here we all kinda joke about our un true stereotypes. Just for everyone to know, Mounties dont really exist anymore. Thats just a ceremonial uniform.
Thanks to everyone that supported the Olympics in Vancouver. Cheers!

RUSH!!!!! what a let down...

Why would NBC show the closing ceremony on tape delay, while they ran the hockey final live? It's the same time in Vancouver as it is in LA, so there was no excuse, outside of money, for the tape delay.

When did Disney get into the olympic closing ceremony business?

Glad you liked the games, it really was an incredible finish too, both the hockey and the ceremonies. Despite a few opening day hiccups, all went very well. One great thing is that they sang the Canadian National anthem so many times during the podium events, at least everyone knows the words now, we aim to please, and educate. ;-)

As you noted, Canadians can laugh at their own expense, probably because it's such a blast just living in Canada.

You need to recognize though that the same, tongue in cheek, self depreciating humoUr was also behind the parody of the Canadian stereotypes, where the inflatable beavers and mooses were used (or is it moose-i or moosies?).

I found N**'s broadcasters were a little confused with that part too, introducign it as our being proud of Canadian icons. They seemed a bit confused with most of it actually, judging by the rest of the commentary they offered, so don't feel too bad.

If you liked Vancouver, be sure to come back a few times, you'll soon understand that we take it all very lightheartedly and like to play along with the 'land of ice and snow, living in igloos bit too.'

Nice to read your review with it's more realistic views, as opposed to some of the unqualified, anti-Canadian games rants found elsewhere. I wonder why some get so jelaous over the sheer enjoyment another nation has whlie hosting an international games?

Eva Avila is not the Carrie Underwood of Canada!!! That would imply that she was popular and has sold records to people other than her parents. That part of the opening was awful-bad Disney/Up with People. Other than Michael Buble the rest of the show was awful, and I'm Canadian!! Our Hockey team couldn't even bothered to be there, something about wanting to see their families???How many Olympic golds are we gonna win? Nickelback, avril, Alanis, Simple Plan are not indicative of the best in Canadian music-did anyone think Chantal Kreviasuk would have been great, maybe singing with Raine(her husband from OLP)? Diana Krall, Measha Brueggergosman(our amazing soprano) Joel Plaskett, the list really could go, but they gave us a bunch of hacks-yuck! Sorry world!

Frankly I was unimpressed with the closing ceremonies. The speeches were too long and there was far too many "talking" parts. What about all the athletes and guests who probably don't speak English OR French? And where were our Divas - namely Celine Dion and Shania Twain? And for the dancers, they could have used some of the awesome dancers from SYTYCDC. The skit with the moose and beavers I suppose was ok, but only ok. I also noticed that many of the spectators were cut off from some of the performances which must have been terrible for them since I assume they all paid big bucks for this. The opening ceremonies were so visual - They should have used some of those effects at the end. I was expecting more and was a bit disappointed, at least until the musical performances started. All in all, it wasn't HORRIBLE, but it definitely could have been better. But at least the flowers they gave out were real flowers and not those gross green imported things they gave to the athletes!
On a positive note - the Games themselves were AWESOME. Our athletes surpassed themselves and he Organizing committee did a great job of dealing with poor weather (from the games perspective anyway!), melting snow and the occassional glitch.

Compared to the previous summer/winter olympics the opening/closing ceremonies has to be the worst I've seen. Both ceremonies weren't very inspiring or motivating and lacked the energy of world competition. The production was low grade and what's Canada's obsession with has been celebrities. It's sad when the presentation of the next olympic city makes yours look like a garage sale. Catherin O'hara's appearance reminded me of a loud, nagging mother. I saw no humour in the balloon beaver and moose and how many times must we hear them declare how polite they are. The entire ceremony reminded me of an amateur circus event. Glad it's over.

That was an awful closing ceremony. Canada. This was your chance to showcase the culture of Quebec or the Maritime Provinces to the world and your blew it. NBC's coverage of the games also sucked . They kept jumping from one event to the other every 15 minutes . Which satisfied no one.

Loved all your comments. Makes me prouder to be a Canadian and a Vancouverite. Thank you for coming here!!!

Thanks for your kind remarks. It's nice to see positive US coverage. We worked hard. And yes, we were making fun of ourselves ;)


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