“I declare the games of the 20th Olympiad closed.”

Italy bids ciao to Games
Led by snow explorers with a white horse symbolizing victory, the Olympic closing ceremony began in grand style at Stadio Olimpico in Turin, Italy, Sunday.
Canada had a star turn in the ceremony, as the next Winter Games will be in British Columbia in 2010.
Canadian opera star Ben Heppner sang a stirring rendition of Canada’s national anthem, which started the section of the program that signifies the countdown to Vancouver.
Heppner, an internationally renowned tenor, performed the anthem a cappella joined by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police honour guard. Heppner’s performance led to the passing of the Olympic flag by Turin Mayor Sergio Chiamparino to Vanvouver mayor Sam Sullivan.
Canadian pop superstar Avril Lavigne rocked Stadio Olimpico in a special eight-minute celebration.
The theme of the closing ceremony is Carnivale Italiano, the Italian masked festival that included performances by some of Italy’s most famous circuses. Popular Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli is the headline performer.
Following the Italian national anthem, the flag-bearers of each nation entered the stadium simultaneously.
Canadian speed skater Cindy Klassen had the honour of leading Canada into the closing festivities as its flag-bearer. The news came to no one’s surprise as the 26-year-old Winnipeg native won a Canadian record five medals and is the nation’s most decorated Olympian with six career medals.
In his final speech to the Italian people, IOC President Jacques Rogge closed the Torino Olympics by saying “these have been wonderful, fantastic Games.” In grand tradition, he then called on the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in Vancouver for the 21st Winter Olympics.
Some 2,000 performers took part in the ceremony. It’s expected this closing ceremony was viewed by a television audience of 500 million people.