An exuberant closing ceremony brings athletes together

Vancouver says goodbye to the Olympics in a spectacle of pyrotechnics, whimsy and thoroughly overdone pageantry.

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPOND
March 2, 2010 06:33
2 minute read.
The closing ceremony for the Vancouver 2010 Olympi

vancouver closing ceremony 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

VANCOUVER – Boy does this town know how to throw a Purim party.

In a spectacle of pyrotechnics, whimsy and thoroughly overdone pageantry, Vancouver said goodbye to the Olympics on Sunday night with a costumed extravaganza that ranged from neon hip-hoppers to velvet-cloaked royalty to 60,000 audience members donning foam moose antlers to show their Canadian pride.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Though each country did choose an Olympian to parade in with its flag – skier Mikhail Renzhin doing the honor for Israel – the rest of the 2,600 athletes streamed in together and then were largely not seen in the darkened domed stadium, except when flashing the red-and-white lights (Canada’s colors, not coincidentally) distributed throughout the crowd.

But they were clearly not the main attraction in a two-and-a-half-hour culmination to the quadrennial international sporting event, which instead focused on praising Canada, welcoming Sochi (host of the 2014 Games) and offering a bittersweet farewell to the world with a massive, raucus party.

To wit, after the rendition of the national anthem, arrival of the presiding officials and athletes’ flag parade, the Closing Ceremonies really got going with a rendition of “Let’s Have a Party” by three singers including Montrealer Nikki Yanofsky (whose previous credits include the Opening Ceremonies – one of the few repeat performers, she sang the Canadian anthem on that occasion – and an appearance at Vancouver’s Temple Sholom).

Other artists included Neil Young, Avril Lavigne, Nickelback and Alanis Morissette. Prominent Canadian actors Michael J. Fox, Catherine O’Hara and William Shatner also took part.

But despite all the pomp in the BC Place arena, the real celebration for millions of Canadians came earlier in the day when their men’s hockey team won a nail-biter in overtime against the US to take gold, turning the streets into something akin to the opening scene of Harry Potter where cloaked wizards roam the roads.




In Vancouver, the cloaks were floor-length Canadian flags, and the magic that propelled Canada to a record 14 gold medals (in Calgary in 1988 they won none), the most of any country, though their total was only 26 in comparison to the United States’ 37. Shouts of exhilaration and even chauvinism could be heard echoing through the city, as passing cars honked horns and streamed banners and crowds of strangers broke into groups of spontaneous dance.

Even Jewish Canadians determined to hear the megillah made sure to incorporate the hockey game into the Purim holiday.

A local Chabad branch was among those promising that the reading of the Scroll of Esther would be followed by a group viewing of the US-Canada game.

And the costume of choice for scores of local Jewish children: Team Canada hockey jerseys, of course. On Sunday, Persian Jewry’s victory over Haman wasn’t the only victory they celebrated.

Related Content

dudi sela
August 31, 2014
Sela steamrolled by Dimitrov

By ALLON SINAI