Hey! We’ve all survived 16 days of the Olympics that took place literally on the precipice of a nuclear war, so let’s start by giving ourselves a big hand for that. Yay, humanity! Yay, survival! Yay, no nuclear winter! We held it together for two+ weeks!
As for the Olympics themselves, they were a decent success, aside from a few weather issues. Did Ryan Lochte cause an international incident? No. Did one of our announcers get a hideous eye disease from contaminated hotel water? No. Did one of our Olympic athletes have to personally rescue a bunch of dogs — AGAIN? Yes. Did that same athlete publicly call out Ivanka Trump, wondering what the fuck she was doing at the Games representing the United States like she was some kind of princess? Yes. So it wasn’t perfect, but we’ve seen worse. A lot worse.
As for the Closing Ceremony itself, after the requisite fireworks, a bunch of dancers on skates and skis come out onto the ice to some remarkably irritating music for a segment that we’ll call, “Hey, Remember How There Was Skating in the Winter Olympics? And Remember How They Also Skied, Too? Yeah, That Was Pretty Cool.” Apparently, Tara Lipinski is so excited by this routine that she feels compelled to give it a standing ovation in the announcing booth, but I have to say that I have seen much better skating, skiing, and dancing in my time, so I am unclear what she’s so worked up about.
Next, the President of the Olympics and the South Korean Prime Minister make their grand entrances into the Fancy Pants Booth, where Princess Ivanka is already seated and … just … BOOOOOOO. BOOOOOO, IVANKA, BOOOOOOO. YOU’RE THE WORST, IVANKA, BOOOOOOOOO. HISS AND BOO. YOU ARE NOT A FUCKING PRINCESS AND I HOPE YOUR HUSBAND GOES TO JAIL SOON.
In the stadium, some adorable children in adorable bear hats present a South Korean flag to some intimidating soldiers in traditional garb for the National Anthem, which is then followed by the absolute best part of this entire Closing Ceremony, 13-year-old guitarist Yang Tae-hwan, who FUCKING SHREDS while Tron is happening all around him.
Never in your life have you been this cool:
The “parade” of athletes, which at the Closing Ceremonies is more of “mob” of athletes, then fills the stadium, followed by the second coolest part of this entire ceremony: 300 drones forming the Olympic mascot, before turning into a heart.
Soon after, a bunch of dandelions and a beautiful tortoise puppet come out to represent the In Memoriam section of the ceremony — the dandelions, according to Tara, represent the seeds of new life, the tortoise, according to Johnny Weir, symbolizes “long life.” Did someone die at the Olympics? Did many people at the Olympics? It’s beautiful, but what the actual fuck is going on here?
We then harp on technology some more, which to Koreans is apparently best represented by dancers in black and white costumes running around in circles and forming lines.
Then the first of the inevitable K-Pop section of the Ceremonies, performed by singer CL, after which the Olympic flag is taken down as this child, who was clearly dressed by the Ikea Monkey, sings the Olympic Anthem.
The Olympic flag is handed over to China, who then shows us what we can expect from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics:
- Pandas … or “PANDAS!!!!” as Johnny Weir shrieks
- More Tron
- TV Screens
After a boring speech by the King of the Olympics, more K-Pop from a boy band named EXO who is apparently a really big deal, not that I would know as an American white woman firmly in my forties. “K-Pop is a global sensation…maybe it’s just pop!” Johnny Weir helpfully exclaims.
Then those kids from the Opening Ceremonies return with a giant snow globe containing “a winter scene from PyeongChang,” (although, most of what I saw from PeyongChang was less “winter scene” than “a lot of dirt with snow blown on top of it”) before sending a bunch of light snowflakes up that giant ramp to extinguish the Olympic flame, the end.
And the whole production, it was “nice,” it was “pretty,” but it lacked a certain je-ne-sais-quois that a giant sobbing robot bear could have added.
And so that’s why I’m puzzled that the edited-down NBC broadcast chose to leave out whatever was happening here:Embed from Getty Images
And this discount tiger mascot that was clearly purchased from a defunct 80s theme park:Embed from Getty Images
And this nightmare material:Embed from Getty Images
COME ON, NBC, THIS IS THE INSANITY WE ARE LOOKING FOR FROM OUR CLOSING CEREMONIES: HUMAN-FACED DRAGONS AND SHITTY MASCOTS AND OILED-UP TONGANS. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT WE WANT.
And with that, we are done with another Olympics. Foolish gold to Bobby for Being My Partner in Two-Man Olympic Blogging for Ten Years Nnow. Foolish gold to my family for Putting Up with 16 Nights of Watching Nothing But Olympic Coverage, Especially on Those Nights When it was Nothing but Bobsledding and Ski Training Runs. And Foolish gold to all y’all for Reading Our Half-Assed Sports Coverage. We have no idea what we’re talking about, but you guys make it fun.
See you back here in 2020.