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Melbourne – we did it!

26 Mar 06 12:30
Two of one thousand Dame Edna's - Melbourne's housewife superstar. 

Two of one thousand Dame Ednas - Melbourne's housewife superstar.

His Royal Highness Prince Edward has formally closed the Commonwealth Games, after a typically Melbourne Closing Ceremony.

Aussie rockers Grinspoon started the Ceremony with a bang, the first of a line-up of Australian music greats gracing the MCG celebrations.

Grinspoon performed centre-stage, surrounded by brightly costumed ballerinas wearing the colours of Australian Rules Football teams. Singer/songwriter Paul Kelly followed, performing his hit 'Leaps and Bounds' to an appreciative Melbourne crowd, before Ben Lee and BodyRockers took to the stage.

Sarah Blasko performed the Crowded House hit 'Don't Dream It's Over' in a tribute to the thousands of Games Volunteers, as snowflakes fell across the stadium to represent Melbourne's infamously unpredictable 'four seasons in one day' weather - thankfully absent for the duration of the Games.

This was the first time that volunteers have been invited to actively participate in a Closing Ceremony to receive their vote of thanks face-to-face.

Then followed a curtain-call for the Flag-bearers of all the competing nations, finishing with the raising of the Australian flag as a giant upside-down globe floated above the stadium, showing Australia to be on top of the world.

Melbourne 2006 Chairman Ron Walker addressed the crowd, saying the Closing Ceremony was a celebration of  “the greatest coalition of Commonwealth nations ever seen”.

“We have all been united by the moment,” Mr Walker said. “Melbourne – we did it!”

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) flag was then lowered by a party representing Australia’s three emergency services, and handed to Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2010 Delhi Games, before 800 Indian performers marked the hand over of the Games with a Bollywood spectacular.

Among the performers were 12 Bollywood superstars, including actress and former Miss Universe Aishwarya Rai, who played the lead in the recent film 'Bride and Prejudice'.

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President, Mike Fennell, also named Indian Shooting athlete Samaresh Jung as the winner of the inaugural David Dixon Award.

Jung won an incredible seven medals at the Games, five gold, one silver and one bronze and set three new Games records along the way.

The CGF established the David Dixon Award, in memory of the man who served as its Honorary Secretary for 17 years, to honour the outstanding athlete at each Commonwealth Games.

His Royal Highness Prince Edward then formally closed the Commonwealth Games, before Moonee Pond's most famous housewife, Dame Edna Everage, addressed the MCG via satellite - and introduced a stadium full of 1000 'Edna lookalikes'.

Musical legend John Farnham started the finale of the unforgettable evening, performing as athletes spilled out onto the field to party under the stars.

His closing song, 'You're The Voice', triggered an explosive city-wide pyrotechnics display - the final fireworks of Melbourne 2006.

Ceremonies Artisitc Director and Executive Producer Andrew Walsh said, "If the opening Ceremony was about theatre, the Closing is distinctly Melbourne."

View all the excitement at the MCG, visit the Closing Ceremony photo gallery on this Website.

This Website is closed and for reference purposes only. To guarantee the stability of Games data, all external links are being removed.

See you at Delhi 2010
Fireworks at the MCG at the closing of Melbourne 2006.
After eleven fun packed days, Melbourne 2006 is now over and all thoughts turn to the next Games - Delhi 2010. Nameste! See you in Delhi 2010! Swagatam!
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