Canada showed off its good-natured humor — and many quirky traits — in a festive and tongue-in-cheek Winter Olympic closing ceremony that was anything but short on laughs.
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Setting the tone early, the show recalled the opening ceremony gaffe when one of the four Olympic cauldron legs failed to rise because of a technical problem. On Sunday, a mime — with an electrical belt — "fixed" the defective leg and Olympic gold medalist, speed skater Catriona LeMay Doan, finally lit the flame she didn't get to two weeks ago.But the self-deprecation was even more evident during the Made in Canada segment, kicked off with stand-up bits from William Shatner
, Catherine O'Hara
and Michael J. Fox
, who espoused the virtues of their home nation while poking fun at its stereotypes."We're sorry you can't stay with us forever," O'Hara quipped. "No, we're not. We just like to say we're sorry."
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Michael Buble, dressed as a Mountie, followed with a performance of "Maple Leaf Forever" as a hodgepodge of iconic Canadian symbols flooded BC Place Stadium. There were giant Mounties, tabletop hockey players (introduced to the theme of Hockey Night in Canada), dancing maple leafs, canoes, lumberjacks, massive inflatable beavers and flying moose all exuberantly dancing to Buble.
Other performers included Canadians Neil Young, Avril Lavigne, Nickelback, Alanis Morissette, Simple Plan and Hedley.
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The show also included the traditional handover ceremony, in which the Olympic flag is given to the host of the next games — Sochi in 2014. After Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Sochi, received the flag, a presentation about the Russian city was unveiled, featuring ballet, figure skating, the Moscow symphony orchestra and oversized zorbs — lit-up spheres with dancers inside.The Sochi Games will kick off Feb. 7, 2014. Before then, London will host the Summer Olympics starting July 27, 2012.