CALGARY, Alberta: This Canadian city’s extended love song to the world ended in a strain of teary patriotism at Sunday’s Olympic closing ceremonies.
For 16 days of balmy winds and sometimes shirtsleeve weather, Calgarians bemused their guests with effervescent smiles and unabashed enjoyment of every nuance of these 15th Winter Games.
Sunday was cool, clear and calm as 60,000 people packed McMahon Stadium, which sparkled brilliantly in the night with the miniature Olympic torches given those in attendance.
The ceremonies built to a hoedown: crescendo with performers. Athletes and spectators dancing along. They lingered along past the concluding fireworks as the crowd frolicked to an international chorus performing “Can’t You Feel It”, official song of the Games,
The biggest thanks came from Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the IOC, who said that despite fickle Chinook winds, Calgary had managed to produce “the best organization of the Olympic Winter Games ever”.
As the athletes marched in, also carrying torches, a not quite full moon hung over the ceremony, and banners reading “Until We Meet Again” in eight languages were draped along the top of the stands.
The athletes meandered into the stands in loosely organized clusters, in stark contrast to the formal opening ceremonies. Strangers of 16 days ago had become friends and heroes, waving to the crowd.
Crowd favorites included U.S. Bonnie Blair carrying the Stars and Stripes, Canadian skier and two time bronze Karen Percy and Great Brit first ski jumper. Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards.
About 250 skaters took to the stadium floor. A high-tech array of thousands of lights glistened off sequined costumes, flags and flame.
All others had had been indoors.
The sweet sadness of extinguishing the Olympic flame was done by former world pair’s champions Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini.
DE JANEIRO, Reuter: The United States beat Brazil 12-5. 12-6 on Saturday to win the World Beach Volleyball championship on Rio’s Ipanema Beach.
Led by Captains Pat Powers and Karch Kiraly, the U.S. breezed past the Brazilians before about 10,000 fans in a stadium erected on the beach especially for the event,
The Americans appeared unaffected by the brutal summer heat, but several spectators had to be carried out of the stadium and treated for sunstroke.
‘Teams from 10 countries, including China. Italy and Japan participated in the five day championships.
Article extracted from this publication >> March 4, 1988