Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Closing Ceremonies

The Closing Ceremony will be held on March 21, 2010 in Whistler at Whistler Medals Plaza.

Ceremony start time: 7pm
Ceremony end time: 8:30pm

Gates open at 16:00 for the Closing Ceremony. Times are subject to change.

Closing Ceremonies Photos

Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games
Closing Ceremony speech

John Furlong
Chief Executive Officer

Tonight - together with our many partners – and in the name of all Canadians – we take our final steps across the finish line of Canada’s Games.  Our work is done.  We have given this magnificent adventure our complete effort – our full enthusiasm – in the name of a country we all love.

A month ago we committed to the performance of a lifetime and now leave the field of play here in Whistler exhausted.  Our best has been given.  

Our dear friend Jack Poole would be a very happy man tonight.  He will rest well now knowing that the promises we made long ago have been kept and that the grand vision for Canada’s Games has been realized.

Paralympians – you have dazzled us with your agility, your strength, your endurance and your sportsmanship.  You have demonstrated great courage, skill and determination.  You have given us drama and thrills we will never forget. You reflect the best kind of human character, integrity and focus.  You have shown that pain is no match for your courage.  Many of you go home as champions; you all go home as winners.  You have been remarkable ambassadors of the human spirit.  No more could be asked of you than the sum of your efforts here.

Loren, Brian and Vivian – you are Canada’s newest heroes.  Every Canadian child now knows who you are.  But to every Paralympian from every country you have shown us that for the human heart there is no worthy adversary.

I will never be more proud than I am tonight as my team mates cross the finish line together holding hands - just as they started.  To each one of you – and to every ‘Blue Jacket’ volunteer – thank you for your selfless service to these Games and to your grateful country.  You came from all over – and you gave and you gave and you gave with passion and energy.  Because the very idea that you could contribute to the building of a better, stronger Canada burns in your heart.  Thank you! 

Your contribution has left an indelible mark on your country – a priceless deposit of good will for future generations to draw upon.  May the memories of your heroic engagement become the perpetual music of your life.  Once a ‘Blue Jacket,’ forever a ‘Blue Jacket’!

There is just not enough time to properly thank everyone.  So many did so much and with such distinction.  The citizens of Vancouver, Whistler and Richmond top the honour roll.  But full credit as well to: partners,  sponsors, contractors; men and women in uniform; the International Paralympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee; federations and fans; broadcasters and storytellers; artists and musicians; VANOC Board and Committee members, and, of course, our elected leaders and those in public office.

Canada’s Games are over – we did it!  If we have had success it was because all 33 million Canadians for an instant became loyal trusted team mates.  We were “Team Canada - Équipe Canada” – not the few but the many.  We did this together – all of us living every moment and all the drama like we ourselves were the athletes.

We now know that sport success and access is in our nation’s highest interest; that through sport we are a stronger nation, a better nation.  We found something special here in British Columbia.  And while the world noticed our patriotic celebration and excitement, we at Vancouver 2010 felt it.   

It is with humility and more than a little regret, that we now say good-bye.  But, as we say, this is not a good-bye but rather a "see you later." It has been a true honour to serve.

Thank you very much.  Merci beaucoup.  Gura míle mhaith agaibh go léir – slán agus beannacht (translation from Gaelic: May a thousand good wishes be upon you – farewell and adieu).

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