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Farewell, Sochi: Russia closes costliest Olympics

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 23, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.

dancers-perform-with-large-mascots-during-the-closing-ceremony-of-the-2014-winter-olympics-on-sunday-feb-23-2014-in-sochi-russia

Dancers perform with large mascots during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

SOCHI, Russia — Flushed with pride after a spectacular showing at the costliest Olympics ever, Russia celebrated 17 days of sport-driven global unity Sunday night with a farewell show that hands off the Winter Games to their next host, Pyeongchang in South Korea. Said the head of the International Olympic Committee: "Russia delivered all what it had promised."

Raucous spectators chanted "Ro-ssi-ya! Ro-ssi-ya!" — "Russia! Russia!" — before being surrounded by multicolored fireworks and carried through a visually stunning, sometimes surrealistic panorama of Russian history and culture. The crowd was in a party mood after the high-security games passed off safely without feared terror attacks.

"This is the new face of Russia — our Russia," said Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of the Sochi organizing committee. He called the games "a moment to cherish and pass on to the next generations."

In a charming touch, the Sochi organizers used the ceremony to make a joke at their own expense. Dancers in shimmering silver costumes formed themselves into four rings and a clump in the center of the stadium. That was a wink to a technical glitch in the Feb. 7 opening ceremony, when one of the five Olympic rings in a wintry opening scene failed to open. The rings were supposed to join together and erupt in fireworks.

This time, it worked: As Russian President Vladimir Putin watched from the stands, the dancers in the clump waited a few seconds and then formed a ring of their own, making five, drawing laughs from the crowd.

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 total comments

GCW says... February 23, 2014 at 6:07 p.m.

I don't care if I ever see Bob Costas again. I don't appreciate all the talking over the ice dancing and music and I especially don't want to hear about Lolo Jone's upbringing in the middle of a bobsled run.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... February 23, 2014 at 8:24 p.m.

h ttp://ww w.youtube.c om/watch?v=hze_6-f5KNA#t=475

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FreeSpiritMan says... February 23, 2014 at 9:24 p.m.

It was a great Olympics, just wish the countries could get along as well as the athelets.

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