VANCOUVER — Expect Canadians to have a bit of fun at their own expense in the Winter Olympic closing ceremony Sunday.
Though details of the show remain secret, Vancouver organizing chief John Furlong said Friday that it will be an amusing send-off for some of the word's greatest athletes.
"It will be Canada's way of saying goodbye and thank you," he said. "We will probably poke a bit of fun at ourselves. You will probably come away from the ceremonies knowing a bit more about us than you did if you're not from Canada."
And while the opening ceremony was criticized for the lack of French and ethnic content, Furlong said the Vancouver Organizing Committee has made no changes to Games' finale.
"We will be delivering the show that we've planned for the past two years," he said. "But you will be under no doubt at the end of the show . . . that we are a bilingual country and we celebrate it."
And, just in case anyone misunderstood, Furlong said "the country came together to deliver it — including the province of Quebec."
Furlong gave no hint as to who will perform at the closing ceremony, where the athletes will once again parade into B.C. Place Stadium, the Olympic cauldron will be extinguished and the Olympic flag passed to the city of Sochi, Russia, which will play host to the games in 2014.
The show, he said, will "bust a few Canadian myths" and feature some "amazing" Canadian talent.
"It's likely at the end of the show — especially if you're not Canadian — that you will come face to face with people that you might have thought were from somewhere else."
As to who will be watching from the stands, Furlong said he has heard the same rumours as everyone else that U.S. President Barack Obama might make the trip north to catch the show. But Furlong said nobody on his committee has been able to confirm those reports.
"We've heard on and off again talk from all over the world about different people who might or might not be coming," he said. "I think, like anyone else, these men and women are fans and they're looking at what's going on and making decisions, 'Will I or won't I?' And we'll see what happens."
The identity of Canada's flag bearer also remains a source of speculation.
Canada's chef de mission Nathalie Lambert said she and her assistants will make a decision Saturday night or Sunday morning.
"We have a lot of great, amazing athletes on this team," she said. "So it's going to be a tough decision."
Lambert said many people are already suggesting that the flag bearer should be figure skater Joannie Rochette, who won a bronze medal four days after the sudden death of her mother.
"I think we need to respect every single athlete," Lambert said. "There's a lot of great, wow moments that inspired people in different ways, and I think we need to consider everybody."