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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

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February 28, 2010 at 5:32 PM

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LIVE closing ceremony insightful/inciteful commentary

Posted by Ron Judd


THAT'S ALL FOLKS. We'll have a final word from here tomorrow.

LONG SUCCESSION of rejects from Canada Ain't Got Much Talent. We're searching the TV grid for alternatives. Maybe some tape-delayed curling?

ALANIS MORISSETTE up next. There's been some really poor lip-synching tonight.

THE INEVITABLE Avril Lavigne moment. Basically turns into a concert at this point.

OK, this thing has devolved into giant beavers and flying moose. It's like the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade hijacked to Yellowknife. If you need to do tax forms tonight, this would be the portion.

A SINGING MOUNTIE appears before a large Canada postcard scene. It's Michael Buble, who is joined by four Mountie-ettes in red skirts. Show-tune time.

MICHAEL J. FOX is up next. Says he thinks of team Canada as the home team. "Canada is a big tent. And if you're good at something, we will claim you."

CATHERINE O'HARA is doing a bit riffing on how often Canadians say, "Sorry." It's falling pretty flat.

OMG: William Shatner has just risen from the floor to take his place. (This is the "I am Canadian" part of the program.) "We are a people that know how to make love in a canoe." Please god don't let him sing. Says he's proud that Canadians, after four beers, can pronounce the name of the Straits of Juan de Fuca without being censored." Except he says it like "Straits of Juan de Fookah." Nice try.

NEIL YOUNG is on stage, wearing a black hat. He's going to sing, "Long May You Run" at the base of the Fortress of Solitude flame caldron, which goes out and the end of the song. Neil disappears into the floor.

JACQUES ROGGE's speech, the one where he ends by calling some Olympics the greatest ever, ends with "These were excellent and very friendly Games." (Ouch!) He declares the Games over and invites the youth of the world to reassemble in four years in Sochi.

JOHN FURLONG, Vanoc CEO, takes the stage. Speaks really bad French. Says Canada is stronger, more united more in love with selves than ever before. "These Olympic Games have lifted us up.' Then he actually says: "Now you know us, eh?" Quiet, humble natonal pride in the country has taken to the streets, he says. Athletes "were the wind beneath our wings," he said. (Not making this up.) Says volunteers were the backbone, triumphed over nature at Cypress Mountain. Furlong really does sound like a first-year French student. Yikes. For a bilingual nation, that was embarrassing. Especially since Rogge, who speaks fluent French, follows.

TRETIAK, IRINA RODNINA, OVECHKIN and PLUSHENKO make appearances.

OH NO: First ballet, and now ice dance. And then opera.

RUSSIAN conductor, we are led to believe, is conducting orchestra live in Red Square in Moscow. Huh. Wonder how they are handling that two-second satellite delay.

SOCHI 2014 PRESENTATION begins. Russian supermodel launches. Some clear orbs with people walking in them. Uh-oh. violin music.

RUSSIAN CHOIR is singing Russian anthem, which apparently has 14 verses.

HANDOVER CEREMONY -- Vancouver mayor about to hand over Olympic flag, and accompanying seven-year headache, to the mayor of Sochi, Russia. Who knew Sochi had a mayor?

OLYMPIC FLAG comes down, carried out by Mounties.

NOW IT'S the Olympic hymn.

THEY'RE PLAYING the national anthem of Greece, "O Greece."

BAD POP MUSIC ongoing.

HERE IN WHISTLER, we are engaging in the traditional closing ceremony reporter's ritual -- rolling our collected start sheets and flash quote pages into a firelog to burn in the condo fireplace.

MY COLLEAGUE Bob King of the Blogs Condotta is blogging as well, from inside the stadium (or so he says), right here.

CANADIAN athletes are wearing sweaters with a caribou or elk on front. Total ripoff of our moose hat in opening ceremony.

THE ATHLETES are filing in. Team USA looks depleted by about half. This is going to take a while.

FLAGBEARERS have entered. Billy Demong carries the stars and stripes, looking quite natty in Ralph Lauren. Joannie Rochette for Canada. Quite the Olympics for North America, eh?

ANOTHER COMMERCIAL. So, we were down in Whistler Village when Canada won the hockey game. Quite the scene. Wall to wall people, and soon as it ended, Blue Rodeo (or as known in Quebec, Bleu Rodeo) took the stage. Doesn't get any better than that if you're a Canuck. Pretty serious gulp went down when the U.S. got that last second goal, however.

O, CANADA being sung in boy/girl band fashion.

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE Prime Minister Stephen Harper has entered the building with IOC President Jacques Rogge. Rogge is wearing a "Chicago 2016' button. Just kidding.

AND NOW, ALREADY, a word from our sponsors. Speaking of which: Major sponsor throughout CTV's coverage here has been B.C. Tourism. I guess they want the rest of Canada to discover the West Coast. Shouldn't they be advertising on NBC? Maybe they got enough of America in the hockey tournament.

THE FLAME is relit by Catriona Le May Doan, the athlete who did not get to participate in the opening ceremony torch lighting because of technical malfunction.

NICE START: The Canadians poke fun at themselves, with a mime with a toolbelt coming out and "hoisting" up that fourth pillar that failed to materialize during the opening. Not a bad touch.

Hi folks,

Watching the closing ceremony live on CTV here in Whistler. Probably will have some thoughts.

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LIVE closing ceremony insightful/inciteful commentary

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Blog roll and links

www.olympic.org: The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information.
www.nbcolympics.com: Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog
www.usolympicteam.com: U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site.
www.aroundtherings.com: Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription).
www.wcsn.com: News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions.
www.beijing2008.com: Beijing Organizing Committee Web site.
www.vancouver2010.com: Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site.
www.london2012.com: London 2012 Summer Games site.
www.sochi2014.com: Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site.
www.chicago2016.org: Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.