It seemed like the perfect ending to an Olympic Games that had a rocky start.
On the heels of Sidney Crosby’s spectacular game-winning goal in overtime, 60,000 jubilant spectators made their way from Vancouver’s packed downtown streets into B.C. Place for the closing ceremonies.
The event began with a mime pulling up the Olympic cauldron’s fourth arm — which failed to rise during the opening ceremonies — and spectators cheered as Catriona LeMay Doan reappeared to ignite it properly this time.
For the next two hours, the crowd was dazzled with a spectacle that celebrated all things Canadian, including toques, beer, poutine and our propensity to apologize.
Performers included Neil Young, Michael Bublé, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette and k-os.
“If the Canada that came together on opening night was a little mysterious to some, it no longer is,” said John Furlong, CEO of theVancouver organizing committee. “Now you know us, eh?”
A “parade of Canadian icons,” including Mounties, hockey players, voyageurs in birch canoes, beavers, moose and loggers in red plaid shirts danced through the stadium to the former Hockey Night In Canada theme song.
William Shatner, Catherine O’Hara and Michael J. Fox made cameos to share their tongue-in-cheek perspectives of Canada.
“My name is Bill, and I’m proud to be Canadian,” said Shatner. “I’m proud of the fact that we are a people who know how to make love in a canoe. I’m proud of ‘Luuuuuu.’”
Furlong said the Games have brought Canadians together in a way he couldn’t have imagined.
“That quiet, humble national pride we were sometimes reluctant to acknowledge (took) to the streets as the most beautiful type of patriotism broke out all across our country,” he said.
“Alexandre (Bilodeau), your first gold medal gave us all permission to feel like and behave like champions. Our last gold will be remembered for generations … Good-bye.”
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