Figure skater Joannie Rochette carried the flag for Canada in the closing ceremony of the Olympics last night. Rochette won a bronze medal, skating just days after the unexpected death of her mother in Vancouver.
"Yes, it's been a tough week for me," the 24-year-old from Quebec said beforehand.
"But I walk tonight into that stadium with a big smile on my face. . . . I accomplished my goals, and I want to celebrate with my teammates."
A festive crowd of 60,000 jammed into BC Place Stadium for the closing ceremony, many of them Canadians abuzz over the overtime victory by their men's hockey team earlier in the day to give the host nation a Winter Olympics record of 14 gold medals.
The Games, marred at their opening by the death of 21-year-old Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, ended on a wave of public enthusiasm in Vancouver that veterans of multiple Olympics described as unsurpassed.
The U.S. flag-bearer was Bill Demong, a veteran of four Olympics who won gold and silver medals in Nordic combined.
Another important segment of the ceremony was the traditional hand-over ceremony, in which the Olympic flag is lowered and presented to the hosts of the next Winter Games. Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Sochi, Russia, the 2012 host city, got the flag from Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.
Oiler reprimanded. Lubomir Visnovsky, a defenseman for the Edmonton Oilers, was reprimanded for a minor doping violation while playing for Slovakia in an Olympics which proved to be remarkably drug-free. It was only the second doping violation of these Games. A female Russian hockey player also was reprimanded after testing positive for a stimulant.
What's on ice? President Obama bet a case of beer with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper - who donned a Canada jacket and walked into the closing ceremonies with the athletes - on the U.S.-Canada gold medal hockey game.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the President had a case of Yuengling riding on the game against Prime Minister Harper's 24 bottles of Molson.
Harper won his case of Yuengling, but there was no word on where the cross-border exchange would occur.
Another coach? Dutch speedskater Sven Kramer is considering hiring an additional coach after an error by his current one cost him a second gold medal.
Kramer said he was not planning to dump Gerard Kemkers but may add another coach to his team.
Kramer won the 5,000- meter race, but in the 10,000, Kemkers sent him into the wrong lane during a crossover deep into a race he was well on his way to winning.