Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games was held at Whistler Medal Plaza on 21 March 2010 at 19:30 PST. The ceremony was not held at the same place as the Opening Ceremony, but about 100km away from it and planned as an outdoor event instead of an indoor event, highlighting once more the themes of unity and diversity, as two different locales and settings were chosen. The Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games were the first Winter Games to be held in Canada, which had previously hosted the Toronto 1976 Paralympic Games.

The Vancouver Paralympics Closing Ceremony was opened, as is customary, by the singing of the National Anthem of the host country, accompanied this time by 125 skiers skiing down Whistler Mountain. After John Furlong, President of the Organising Committee gave his concluding speech, singer Chantal Kreviazuk performed her song “Today’s a Great Day” to honour the athletes. The ceremony focused on Canadian performers and First Nations imagery, highlighting not only global, but also Canadian diversity by showing different traditions in Canada.

After these performances, the newly elected members of the IPC Athlete Council took to stage and were officially introduced, thanking the volunteers on behalf of all athletes and the IPC. As an Inuit performed traditional throat singing, Paralympian Kelly Smith participated in being thrown into the air and caught on a traditional Inuit blanket.

The 2010 Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award was then went to two Paralympians, Colette Bourgonje of France and Takayuki Endo of Japan.

The President of the IPC, Sir Philip Craven, then held his own closing speech, thanking the host nation and especially the First Nations of Canada, as well as the Organising Committee and the people of Vancouver and Whistler. After his speech, the Paralympic Anthem was played and the Paralympic Flag lowered, signalling the end of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and leading into the handover of the Games to the city of Sochi, as symbolised by Vancouver and Whistler Mayors Gregor Robertson and Ken Melamed handing over the Paralympic Flag to Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov. With a children’s choir singing the Russian national anthem, a short presentation was given by a sand artist, as physically impaired performers acted out the presentation and the official song of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games was sung. The torch carrying the Paralympic Flame was then handed over to Russia.