Canadians are known for a having a good sense of humor - and that was on full display during the closing ceremony. Because one of the special hydraulically-powered arms of the Olympic cauldron malfunctioned during the opening ceremonies, the closing ceremonies began with a mime pretending to fix the broken arm.
Catriona Le May Doan of Canada - who was supposed to light the malfunctioning cauldron arm 17 days ago - emerged from the stage with the Olympic torch and ignited the cauldron.
The program continued with a salute to the Canadian hosts, including more than 1,000 young people on stage with specially-crafted snowboards forming geometric shapes and the Canadian flag. The athletes then paraded into the stadium.
The program then turned to the next Olympic host - Sochi, Russia. The Russian program included maestro Valery Gergiev conducting in Vancouver, with the orchestra in Red Square in Moscow and ice dancers in Sochi, the site of the 2014 Games.
Vancouver Organizing Committee head John Furlong told the thousands gathered and a worldwide television audience that Canadians are stronger, more in love with their country and more connected than every before because of the games. He made a special point of acknowledging the nation of Georgia, which lost slider Nodar Kumaritashvili in a fatal accident the day of the opening ceremony.
IOC President Jacques Rogge of Belgium praised the athletes and organizers for putting together a successful Olympics.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young, a Canada native, sang "Long May You Run" as the ceremony drew to a close and the cauldron was extinguished. A special program featuring actors William Shatner, Michael J. Fox, and comedian Catherine O'Hara saluted the hosts with a special presentation of "I am a Canadian."
The ceremony ended with a concert featuring Canadian performers, including Michael Buble, Nickelback, Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne, Marie-Mai and hip-performers k-os and XSS (Xtreme Soul Style). The next Winter Games begin in Sochi, Russia, February 7, 2014.