My Olympic Diary – Closing Ceremony

Flag bearers carry in the flags of their country.

Sorry for my absence the last few days. I think I under estimated the time it would take to blog during the busy Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Since I last posted about Figure Skating, I’ve seen our Women’s Short Track speed skaters win a Silver medal in the relay, watched our Men’s and Women’s Curling teams win their semi final matches and move on to the Gold medal round, and I saw the Canada Men’s hockey team play against Germany early last week.  All events I attended were loudly supported and cheered on by my fellow Canadians.  And now it is time for these amazing Winter Olympic Games to come to an end.

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me. I was thrilled to be going to the Closing Ceremony but sad because this meant the end of my great Olympic adventure.  We arrived at BC Place around 2pm and they already had the Gold medal hockey game on the big screens.  Everyone was looking at that screen.  The mood was pretty jovial until USA tied the game near the end of the 3rd period. When Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal, everyone in BC Place went nuts.  We sang the nation anthem along with everyone else and people were taking photos of images on the big screen.  It was a great ending to an already great Olympics.  At times it felt like the whole game had been scripted to end well for Canada. It was an exciting end to our Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

As for the Closing Ceremony, I thought the beginning was hilarious, genius actually.  When we arrived at the stadium and saw only 3 arms up again on the Olympic Cauldron, we wondered what was going on. I thought they were going for consistency and soon found out I was wrong. I’m sure many people didn’t like it, I thought it was clever.  Something did go wrong in the Opening and rather than pretend it didn’t, it was made into a parody for our Closing Ceremony.  I was happy that Catriona Le May Doan finally got her turn to light the cauldron.

As for the rest of the Closing Ceremony, what can I say other than another great job.  John Furlong made a great speech and was halted by the crowd with their cheers when he mentioned our fabulous hockey team.  As always, fine words about the 2010 volunteers (who were outstanding) got lots of cheers.  The flame was extinguished and I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be.  I have a feeling if my family hadn’t been there with me, I might have been more of a mess.  It is sad to see this great event end, but I have such wonderful memories from it.

Athletes enter the stadium together during the Closing Ceremony.

Before the Ceremony began, we had another audience participation rehearsal.  One of our props was to be used during a segment called “Made in Canada”. I remember thinking, “I wonder what that is going to be”.  After the handover to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics, we found out.  This segment poked fun at some of our Canadian stereotypes yet also showed some of the things Canada is most known for like our Royal Canadian Mounted Police, hockey, moose and beavers.  Personally, I liked it.  It was as Canadian as our Native origins and maple syrup.  If you don’t have much of a sense of humour, you probably didn’t care for it.

After that, the musical talent performed.  I felt that it was geared towards a much younger audience.  Given all of the musical talent in Canada, I think they could have had a bit more variety.  This part we couldn’t see very well. We were seated right behind the large stage and the other stage was at the other end of the stadium, very far away. The good thing is you really only had to be able to hear them. One of my favourite sections were the hip hop dancers when k-os was performing.  That part was also a bit difficult for us to see because they were so far away. I’m looking forward to seeing that part on TV.

As we headed out of BC Place onto the streets of Vancouver, we heard people cheering and car horns blowing. The hockey game had been over for hours and the party was still going on.  We can home, dumped our stuff and went out for a walk. It was pretty wild. There were more people on the streets than I had ever seen during the Olympics, everyone was in a great mood and people were high fiving anyone including police officers, hugging people and even dancing around.

This entire Olympics Canadians had been showing a never before seen level of Canadian pride, winning the gold medal kicked that up a notch and was displayed all through the streets of Vancouver and from what I understand all across our country.  Way to go Canada, I knew you had it in you to win gold after gold and to show the world we are as proud as anyone else is of their country.

Before the Closing Ceremony began.

What an amazing end to a completely amazing Olympic Winter games. Way to go Vancouver, way to go Canada, way to go World!

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