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2010 Olympics provides many memorable moments

Vancouver closes out Games in style

Vancouver put on quite a show when it was time to end the Olympics with the Closing Ceremony.
Vancouver put on quite a show when it was time to end the Olympics with the Closing Ceremony. (Getty Images)

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By Amy Rosewater, special to icenetwork.com
(03/01/2010) - Just hours after Canada's men's hockey team skated to the gold medal and with the city of Vancouver in a frenzy over the dramatic victory against the United States, the Olympic flame was extinguished.

For Canadians, these Games ended on a high note, and the Closing Ceremony celebrated not only the many highlights throughout the Olympics but the tremendous pride Canada had for its hockey team.

Canadians, which have a bad habit of saying, "I'm sorry,'' too frequently, poked fun of its apologetic culture throughout the Closing Ceremony. The very start of the event was perhaps the best apology, as a fix-it guy came out on the stage and the fourth portion of the Olympic cauldron (the part that experienced mechanical issues during the Opening Ceremony) rose up from the ground.

Athletes were honored, including Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger who was killed during a training run on the day of the Opening Ceremony.

For figure skating fans, the highlights of these Games will include the gold-medal performance in pairs skating by China's Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao, Evan Lysacek's upset of Evgeni Plushenko for the men's gold and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's stunning performance en route to winning Canada's first ice dancing gold medal.

Perhaps the most memorable performances came in the ladies event when Yu-Na Kim dominated the ice to become South Korea's first Olympic figure skating champion, and Joannie Rochette gave two poignant performances to win the bronze medal in the wake of her mother's sudden death.

But he Closing Ceremony was a moment to honor everyone, from the volunteers, to the athletes to the fans. And Canada put on quite a going-away party. The event was filled with musical performances by Neil Young and Michael Bublé and featured segments from William Shatner and Michael J. Fox. The finale featured Canada's Mounties (its famed police force) and larger-than-life moose and beavers.

And just before the flame was extinguished, International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge declared that Vancouver played host to an "excellent and very friendly" Games.

The next Winter Games will take place in Sochi in 2014.