Thursday, February 11, 2010

Whoa Nelly! Turn Me Round and Wake Up the Neighbours!

K.D. Lang helped close the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics. She will help open the Vancouver 2010 Games on Feb. 12.

The last dress rehearsal for the biggest winter variety show on the planet was Feb. 10 at B.C. Place Stadium and more than 40,000 VANOC volunteers and sponsors showed up to enjoy the unique event.

A source said CTV personalities Ben Mulroney and Tamara Taggart hosted the pre-show which included live appearances by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Premier Gordon Campbell, Mayor Gregor Robertson and VANOC CEO John Furlong. David Atkins, the executive producer, thanked attendees and asked them to "don't tell the secrets" of the ceremony.

Members of the Four Host First Nations started the ceremony with a welcome greeting. Performers on the white floor were dressed in white, but the cheerleaders in the grandstands sported red toques, white sweaters, grey skirts or pants and white footwear. The audience kit for interactive portions of the ceremony was not available.

Sarah McLachlan and K.D. Lang sang separately, but Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado performed a duet.

A snowboarder flew through the Olympic rings. Four totem poles representing the Four Host First Nations popped up and slid out at centre stage. The event stopped abruptly before the portion of the ceremony in which the torch relay makes its final lap around the stadium and the cauldron is lit.

"This will make up for 2006," said a source, referring to Turin when the eight-minute handover interlude of the closing ceremony was full of Canadian cliches, such as ice-fishing and snowmobiling.

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