2006 Winter Olympics closing ceremony
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The games were formally closed by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge calling them "magnificent" This again departed from former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch's tradition of declaring each games "best ever" and continued Rogge's tradition of assigning each games their own identity in his comments.
During the closing ceremony, in the Olympic Stadium, medals were presented for Cross country skiing at the cross-country skiing men's 50 km free event, one of the last events held at the Games. In a new practice for Winter Olympics closing ceremonies, the medals for this long race were awarded during the ceremony similar to the way the medals for the men's marathon are awarded during the closing ceremonies of Summer Olympic Games.
Giorgio Di Centa of Italy, the host nation, won the race and was presented with the gold medal. Eugeni Dementiev of Russia was awarded silver, with Austria's Mikhail Botvinov claiming the bronze. The medal presenter was former Olympian and current IOC member Manuela Di Centa, sister of the gold medalist.
The main theme, to coincide with Italy’s popular masked festival, was Carnevale. The show, directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, who is known internationally for his theatre performances based on the circus world, included six of the original costumes from the film I clowns by Federico Fellini, on lease from the Italian national film museum. Life-sized Tarot cards marching in drill formation signifying all the Luck, Fortune and Life of the Athletes performed to honor every individuals personal story in coming to Torino. The formal moments of the ceremony alternated with artistic moments inspired by the creativity of Viareggio Carnival artists, of travelling shows and of the typical Italian “feste in piazza”. The original music was composed, arranged and orchestrated by Italian producer Michele Centonze in collaboration with Stefano Nanni, Giuseppe Gambino and Serenella Occhipinti (a.k.a. Sara 6).
A wind machine was shown with flying acrobats performing an aerial ballet. This was a vertical wind tunnel that blew the acrobats up into mid-air. The machine was custom-built by Aerodium Canada and Aerodium Latvia for use in the closing ceremony. It is very similar to machines used for indoor skydiving facilities.
Parade of the athletes
The athletes entered the arena without strict order, following a tradition started 50 years earlier at the 1956 Summer Games. They had reportedly been given light-up red clown noses to wear, but few athletes were seen wearing the noses.
During the final speech by Valentino Castellani, chairman of the Torino Olympic Organizing Committee, a Spanish man ran onto the stage and attempted to speak into the microphone. He managed to shout "Passion lives in Torino", as well as rip off one of the two microphones on the podium, before security officials quickly wrestled him away. Castellani continued his speech with only a minor pause. The intruder's T-shirt was printed with the logo of GoldenPalace.com.
A young Polish female streaker named Justine tried to perform a similar stunt, holding an Italian flag bearing the handwritten inscription "Mi consenta", and having a drawing by a Roman artist, Ettore Wallemberg III, on her skin, but security officials stopped her.
In accordance with the Olympic Charter which governs the Closing Ceremony, IOC President Jacques Rogge called on the youth of the world to assemble in Vancouver, in four years, for the next Winter Olympics.
Canadian opera star Ben Heppner, himself born in British Columbia, the host province of the next Winter Olympics, sang O Canada to begin the Canadian segment of the ceremonies and mark the beginning of the countdown to the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010. Heppner sang a version of O Canada which is presented in a combination of Canada's two official languages, English and French, which are also the official languages of the IOC.
Then came the "Oslo Ceremony" (so called because the original Olympic flag, which was used for transfer of the Winter Games, was first used at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo), which is the transfer of the Olympic Flag from the mayor of Turin, Sergio Chiamparino, to Jacques Rogge, and then to the mayor of Vancouver, Sam Sullivan. The flag was kept in the Vancouver City Hall during the next four years. With music playing, Chiamparino ran up the steps to the stage, waved the flag the symbolic eight times, handed it to Rogge, who then handed it to Sullivan. Because Sullivan is a quadriplegic who uses a wheelchair and has limited use of his arms and hands, the flag was placed in a specially-designed flag holder on his chair. Sullivan then spun his chair back and forth eight times to make the flag wave in the air. The assembled crowd roared in approval and rose to their feet in response. This culminated this part of the program. The Olympic flag was next raised again at the next Summer Olympic games in Beijing; opening ceremony there took place on 8 August 2008.
The show included a Vancouver-based specially-cast dance corps together with the latest concepts in boarding, skating and skiing. The Montreal-based members of the cast are multi-talented acrobatic performers drawn from Quebec’s acclaimed École nationale de cirque (National Circus School), and Les sept doigts de la main, energetically supported by the renowned Cirque du Soleil. In addition, Canadian singer Avril Lavigne performed her song, "Who Knows."
Andrea Bocelli performed his song "Because We Believe (Ama Credi E Vai)" before the flame was extinguished; on stage with Andrea appeared 500 Italian brides in white carrying lighted lilies and formed "the Dove of Peace" formation choreographed by Doug Jack and symbolically "flew" across the stage as the flame took its final breath. An international collection of pop singers closed out the ceremonies as a fireworks display ensued, which was unusual because mostly artists that originate from the host country usually performs. After Canadian Avril Lavigne who had sung during the Vancouver segment, Italian Elisa, who had already sung at the closing ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics, performed the song "Luce (Tramonti a nord est)", and Puerto Rican Ricky Martin performed "I Don't Care" and "The Cup of Life".
Anthems were performed by
- Piccoli Cantori di Torino, Italian National Anthem
- Seiji Ozawa and New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Greek National Anthem
- Ben Heppner, Canadian National Anthem
- Instrumental Version of Olympic Hymn
Aside from celebrities participating in the ceremonies and members of the International Olympic Committee, the following notable people were in attendance:
- Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy
- Luca di Montezemolo, President and CEO of Ferrari and chairman of FIAT
- Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, with son, Prince Carl Philip
- Albert II, Prince of Monaco
- Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City
- Mario Andretti, Italian-American race car driver
- Andrea Casiraghi, older son of the heir to the throne of Monaco, Caroline, Princess of Hanover
- Tarja Halonen, President of Finland
- Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada with spouse Jean-Daniel Lafond and their daughter Marie-Éden.
- Peter MacKay, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia, the host province of the 2010 Winter Olympics
In Australia, The Seven Network broadcast the Closing Ceremony live, starting at 5.30 am AEST.
In Spain, TVE2 broadcast the ceremony.
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- "Olympic Wind Machine 2006 Closing Ceremonies". Bodyflight Network Vertical Wind Tunnels. Archived from the original on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2006.
- "Intruder interrupts closing ceremony remarks". MSNBC. Retrieved 2 August 2006.
- "Il giovane spagnolo che ha interrotto Castellani". La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 2 August 2006.
- "Un dimostrante fa irruzione sul palco durante il discorso di Castellano". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 2 August 2006.
- ""Mi consenta" di spogliarmi". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 2 August 2006.
- "The Prime Minister congratulates our athletes and coaches on their performance in Turin". Web site of the Prime Minister of Canada. Archived from the original on 9 July 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2006.
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