Goodbye _ Adjo (adieu)
The Closing Ceremonies at Lysgardsbakken Ski Jumping Arena will look eerily similar to the Opening Ceremonies _ once again, actor Liv Ullman and explorer Thor Heyerdahl will narrate a tale about mythical snow sprites known as vetter.
The spectacle, expected to last just over an hour, sticks to the environmental theme of these Games. A multinational team of five men and one woman, including Lonnie DuPre of Hovland, Minn., will use the night to launch a 10,000-mile expedition to Nagano, Japan, site of the 1998 Games. No planes, trains or automobiles for this group; they are dog-sledding, skiing, sailing and rollerblading their way to Nagano, a trek that's expected to take 18 months.
The six explorers will leave the Closing Ceremonies being pulled by 10 Norwegian huskies. They will carry with them a traditional Norwegian buddstikke, a hollow wooden stick that for hundreds of years has carried messages from one village to the next. In this 1994 buddstikke, there will be an environmental message to the organizers of the Nagano Games: to be "environmentally sensitive Give consideration to nature and environment when planning and completing your Olympics. Choose the correct products and environmental partners to ensure such development."
After the customary speeches from Olympic bigwigs and the traditional pomp and circumstance of the five-ringed flag being lowered, it's time for the vetter _ mythical creatures who supposedly guide Norwegian life from the underworld.
On Feb. 12, the vetter were overshadowed by the flame-toting ski jumper who lit the Olympic flame. Tonight, the Fossegrimen, or evil waterfall sprites, will slide down the steep slope underneath the two giant ski-jumping ramps.
The vetter's antics will end on a serious note: The Olympic flame will die out as 40,000 spectators ignite small flashlights bearing the inscription "Remember Sarajevo."
Then the spotlight shifts to Nagano, set to become the second Asian city to host a Winter Games. Six large helium balloons will form a snowdrop _ the city's Olympic symbol _ while lasers light up the snow with: "See you in Nagano 1998."