Sport I think I knew the exact moment when the we collectively decided that Barry Davies' commentary during the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony had finally reached annoyance critical mass. It was when my Dad, seemingly from nowhere shouted:
"It's called a trampoline you stupid idiot!"*
I'm sure Barry has his fans but really after a while his often useful bits of information gave way to noise. "That's very nice." He'd say, or "That's just spectacular." We know Barry, we're watching it. There was a commentariless broadcast on interactive but when the speechs scrolled around you had no recorse but to put up with the stilted translation from Davies.

Overall the closing was a more exciting spectacle than the opening, even if the fixation on clowns reminded me of all the reasons I'm not a big fan of Italian cinema. To be honest I was more concerned with why the other half of the dancers were dressed in the same alpine gear the rebels wore on the ice planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. The overall carnival theme felt lost in the midst of the madness, with the constant cutting back to the king and queen during the athlete's parade a bit pointless. The big highlight was the appearance of hundreds of brides although the inadvertant metaphore conjured when you realise that their appearance led to be extinguishing of the Olympic flame. Exactly what are you trying to say will happen when all of these flawless looking Italian girls will enter wedlock?

At least the live music this time was slightly hipper. For some reason the organisers thought Yoko watching Peter Gabriel butchering her late husband's song Imagine would be the perfect thing to set off a fortnight's worth of sporting events. No. This time during the Canadian presentation, Avril Lavigne appeared to sing what must be theme song next time as the new mascot was created in large blocks of fake ice. Much has been written in the past couple of months about Lavigne's new look and here she was de-fauxgothed and looking amazing with a mass of blonde hair. What will the fans think? Later, Italian singer Elisa was introduced as the token artist from the country that no one else has heard of. Except all of the way through I had the nagging feeling I'd heard the song before and dashed into my cd collection to find a copy of her album. I do not have a Ricky Martin album, although he seemed to enjoy himself and worked the crowd who were excited even if the act was just a touch the wrong side of Hasslehoff.

[*he didn't say 'idiot' though. Expletive deleted.]

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