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Closing ceremony of XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Live

February 23, 2014, 19:39 UTC+3

The official ceremony will start at 20:14 Moscow time

1 pages in this article
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22:21 Gradiose fireworks spark above the Fisht Stadium in Sochi.

22:16 A rain of petals starts to fall on the three Mascots, and children enter the scene, some of them carrying a giant flower representing a mimosa (typical flower from Sochi). The stadium floor gradually turns into a blossoming meadow. A flock of running birds appear and cross the flower meadow.

A storm of petals fills the air and falls upon the heads of the audience. A fantasy boat crosses the stadium carrying singers who perform the closing song, the pan-Russian choir and soprano Hibla Gerzmava. The children run out of the scene following the flock of winged performers.

Now, the Sochi Olympics are history. They are forever in our memory. They were hot. They were cool. They were yours.

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

22:14 The Olympic flame is extinguished. One season replaces another. Sadness is always replaced by joy. Defeats are followed by victories. Victories are followed by other victories.

22:06 The three children enter the scene and play together. Lyubov holds her toy bear.

Large mirrors enter the scene. The mirrors create shapes on the scene that are manipulated by mirror performers.


The Sochi mascots (the Bear, the Hare and the Snow Leopard) enter the scene seeking out the cauldron.

Finally, the Olympic cauldron emerges. The mirrors create different shapes around the cauldron until the Mascots discover it. The cauldron rises up, and is revealed behind the mirrors. The pan-Russian choir enters holding candles and starts to sing.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

One of the three mascots of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games — the White Hare – became extremely popular with guests at the Olympic Park. A large queue of fans wishes to talk to and take photos with the plush Hare every minute. Talking is, however, hardly possible despite the friendliness of the mascot.

“The Hare doesn’t talk. It is an animal, and animals don’t talk,” a volunteer accompanying the mascot explained in fear that some of the most emotional visitors might make the Hare greased.

21:55 The host welcomes the President of Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko and Thomas Bach. Dmitry Chernyshenko delivers a speech, followed by the IOC President. Thomas Bach declares the Sochi Olympics closed. 

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

People all over the world, media, officials and everybody else praised the organization of Sochi Olympics. It seems that everyone was surprised with the high level of organization. Despite information wars, Sochi proved to be one of the best Olympic host cities.

The IOC President Thomas Bach says that through volunteers we can see the face of new Russia.

Minutes after the Olympic flame was lit up at the opening ceremony, mass media around the world hurried to share their off-the-cuff impressions of what instantly became history. The New York Times described in detail the marvelous show presenting the highlights of the country’s centuries-long dramatic history. The Wall Street Journal said the opening ceremony was “a spectacular tour through Russia's history, heavily emphasizing the country's contributions to classical music, ballet and visual art.” 

“The Olympics is like the greatest show on earth and to just share the same snow, to be able to slide down the same snow that the elite skiers carve down is an honor and a privilege," musician-turned-to-be-athlete Vanessa Mae said

“The Games are organized on a sweeping scale. There is what to be surprised at and there is what to look at. Of course, there is what to be amazed by and what to learn in holding other competitions,” spokeswoman to the Belarusian National Olympic Committee Anastansiya Marinina said

Russia's parliamentary upper house Speaker Valentina Matvienko has praised organization of the Sochi Olympics as an enormous success for Russia and the Russian president, thanking athletes, volunteers, fans and TV commentators for creating a special atmosphere and arousing patriotic feelings.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

21:47 The presentation of Pyeongchang 2018 starts. The county of Pyeongchang presents its artistic segment. A Korean man appears, and a traditional Korean instrument Gayageum descends from the aerial rig. Large puppets enter the scene and dance within the “four season” landscape projection. A female singer replaces the Gayageum player. A jazz version of the music is heard, and another singer performs. LED trees rise. A rock singer takes over the vocal performance, and children build a snowman and a village. Children perform a tribute to the Olympic sports. Korean athletes enter to join the cast.

21:42 The Mayor of Sochi Anatoly Pakhomov hands the Olympic Flag to the IOC President Thomas Bach who passes it to Seok Rae Lee, the Mayor of Pyeongchang, the next host city of the Winter Olympics. The national anthem of South Korea is played. Let’s remember, what it took Sochi to get ready for the Olympics and wish good luck to Pyeongchang.

21:36 The host announces the Greek national anthem, which is played while the Greek flag is being raised.

The sports competitions called “Olympic Games” were held first in Ancient Greece, in Olympia, a town in the north-western part of the Peloponnese peninsula, which once was an important religious and sporting center of Greece. 776 B.C. is considered the year of the first Olympic Games: this date is written on a plate together with the name of the Olympic champion in race Korebos found by archaeologists.

The date is confirmed by ancient authors. The idea of reviving the Olympics was proposed in late XIX century by French public figure Pierre de Coubertin due to the society’s interest in archaeological discoveries in Olympia. He presented his project in a report in Sorbonne November 25, 1892.

While the Olympic Anthem is being played, the Olympic flag is lowered and carried out from the stadium by children.

©ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

21:29 A circus van enters and travels around the scene in a circle. The circus caravan makes a stop at several points to drop off circus props. Do you remember Olympic spectators and sports fans in Sochi? They can be quite entertaining!

(C) EPA/Justin Lane

A circus tent is pulled up and opened by cast and crew. The ringmaster appears from inside the chapiteau and looks around, noticing the huge audience gathered at the stands. Circus characters and performers emerge from the big top and the scene to perform all around it. They represent typical traditional circus skills. Professional circus artists perform distinctive acts on the stages around the circus chapiteau. In a final flourish, the circus tent disappears from the scene. The circus characters disperse and rush away. The three children, Moon and clown are left alone, then leave.

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

21:25 Writers' studios enter the scene, books are everywhere. The books form islands surrounding the central stage. The entire scene resembles a library, showcasing the most famous Russian writers at their desk. The children enter the scene, they open a large oversized book and start turning pages. A wind starts blowing from the central stage. The words of the Russian writers and poets start their flight... pages from the books are caught in the wind, flying all around the stadium. Words and quotes from the Russian writers and poets are also shown on scenic elements.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

21:23 During the end of the ballet performance, a giant “island of books” is assembled in the center of the scene.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

21:18 The curtains of the two theatres open. A big chandelier appears in the center between the two arches. A pas de deux is performed in front of each theatre stage arch. Ballet dancers move onto the scene, followed by the corps de ballet from each company who perform at first separately and then together, united in a single celebration of the early 20th century Russian ballet.

21:15 Pianist Denis Matsuev emerges from the clouds playing a grand piano. The children join him, taking the moon along. Now we can see another 62 mini-pianos with pianists emerge from the sides of scene. The central piano stays still while the others move around it to create a dancing vortex of pianos. Towards the end of the choreography, 2 proscenium arches with curtains appear, representing the Bolshoi and Mariinsky theatres.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

21:09 Now the grand tribute to the Russian culture begins. An upside down 'Chagall Village' enters the scene. A second Chagall village is shown on the field. As they move towards each other, it becomes apparent that the projected scene is a reflection of the village floating above it. You can see large canvas of painting, brush stroke effects, and then clouds. Female viola player Aliona Baeva and Chagal characters appear. Famous musician Yuri Bashmet also plays his viola from the orchestra stage.

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

19 messengers holding white birds appear, as well as another selection of 32 characters, grooms and brides, violinists and dreamers, deers and goats, all from Chagall's paintings. The three children – a boy, a girl and Lyubov – follow them. Between the villages and its inhabitants, a dance of floating clouds begins. Each "cloud" is attached to an acrobat in a harness, which is accompanied by "pushers" who help guide the clouds. The clouds give the impression of weightlessness, and the acrobats lightly bounce across the scene. A huge balloon representing the Moon appears. The huge moon, which appears to be suspended on the end of a thin thread, is held by a clown. He passes it to the boy and the girl and exits, leaving them alone on the scene with the moon. The clouds gather.

21:06 The newly elected members of the International Olympic Committee and its Athletes' Commission are presented. These are Norway's biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Canadian hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser.

20:59 Now, the host announces the victory ceremony for winners of men's 50 km mass start free. Russian skiers Alexander Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin and Ilya Chernousov climb to the medals podium. The medals are presented by the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, accompanied by the President of the International Ski Federation Gian-Franco Kasper. The Russian national anthem plays while the flag is raised.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

Infographics 2014 Olympic medals

2014 Olympic medals

Graphic featuring 2014 Sochi Olympic medals. ITAR-TASS Infographics

A record number of medals — 1,254 — has been coined for the Sochi Olympics: 98 sets of Olympic medals and 72 sets of Paralympic medals. Making the medals required no less than 2.5 kilograms of 999 gold, 490 kilograms of 960 silver and 210 kilograms of bronze. The crystal in the center of each medal is made of extra-firm transparent polycarbonate. The gold Olympic medals weigh 531 grams, silver medals, 525 grams, and bronze medals, 460 grams. They are 100 millimeters in diameter and 10 millimeters in thickness. It carries the Olympic rings on one side, and the name of the sports event in English and the emblem of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on the other. The official name of the Games in Russian, English and French is on the rim. The athletes who won the gold at the Olympics on February 15, the day when a huge meteorite fell near Chelyabinsk a year ago, got an extra medal with fragments of the celestial body.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

20:51 The host announces the victory ceremony for the winners of the cross-country skiing women’s 30 km free mass start. Marrit Bjoergen, Therese Johaug and Kristin Stoermer Steira, all from Norway, make their way to the medals podium. The medals are presented by the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, accompanied by the President of the International Ski Federation Gian-Franco Kasper. Then, Norway’s national anthem is played and the national flag is raised.

20:36 The host announces the flags of the athletes’ delegations in Sochi. 88 athlete flag bearers are accompanied by flag escorts. They form two lines on either side of the athletes' ramp. 

The parade of athletes begins, announced by the host. The athletes appear on stage and proceed to the seating blocks on the Eastern side of the stadium. First goes Greece, and then the countries follow in order of the Russian alphabet letters. Russian athletes come last.

Now it’s time to remember the athletes, who performed at the Olympics and gave us all those exciting moments that make us admire and watch the Games.

It’s Ole Einar Bjorndalen, the 40-year-old biathlete, who debuted at the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994, and at these Games, which are already the sixth for him, brought two gold medals to Norway.

This is the outstanding biathlete Darya Domracheva from Belorussia, who won three gold medals at the Sochi Winter Olympics and was awarded the Hero of Belorussia title by the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko.

This is the unbeatable biathlete Martin Fourcade, who won two gold awards and one silver medal at the Games.

However, we want to thank all the athletes who contributed to this spectacular celebration of sports called the Winter Olympic Games.

20:34 A military drums orchestra enters the stage.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

20:27 The host announces the national anthem of the Russian Federation to be sang by the pan-Russian choir and asks the audience to rise. The Russian National Anthem is performed as the flag is being raised by the technicians. It is sung by the 900 people-strong choir and accompanied by the Youth Orchestra, which is positioned in the athletes’ seating area.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

20:24 The host announced the flag of the Russian Federation, which will be carried by exceptional children of the Sochi region. The mirror performers and the messengers form a corridor, the so-called “guard of honor” to welcome the flag. Eight children carry the flag into the stadium and toward the protocol stage, where it will be raised, and another eight children accompany them. The forest of light-emitting diodes on the tribunes creates a transition between different versions of the Russian flag. The flag is handed to 3 flag technicians.

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

20:23 Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach enter the presidential box, as the audience applauds. The presidents shake their hands. Russian gold-winning bobsledder Alexander Zubkov stands right next to President Putin. 

©ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

20:22 As the row boat continues its journey, the mirror performers start to form shapes which gradually turn into 5 shining Olympic Rings. One of the rings takes longer to open, in reference to the opening ceremony. The light from the torches, reflected on the mass cast's mirror costumes, refracts through a mist, breaking into spectral beams.

20:17 The so-called “messengers” that follow the boat switch on powerful torches that send shafts of light toward the floor, creating shapes on the sea. The messengers and their torches illuminate mirror performers that move like sparkling shoals of fish or stars submerged in the night sea, creating various patterns. The mass cast performers who were hardly noticeable inhabitants of the seas before this moment, now become sparkling small fishes, or stars in the sea. Their "mirror" costumes reflect the strong light of messengers' torches. Reflections are scattered all over the stadium.

©ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

20:15 Two clowns, one rowing and one standing, appear on a small row boat accompanied by a boy, a girl and Lyubov, whom you already know from the Olympic opening ceremony. Luybov carries a small bear mascot of the Games in her hands. They cross the stadium. One of the clowns attempts to catch shooting stars while standing on the boat. Projections transform the stadium floor, creating the effect of a sea at night. 

20:14 The final countdown to the start of the ceremony begins as the screens show shots reflecting the most emotional moments of the past days of the Games. Exhaustion and overcoming, empathy and struggle, exaltation and suffering, victories and defeats... The most touching moments of the Olympic days in Sochi. 

20:00 The Closing Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games is about to begin. And the Closing Ceremony is time for reflection. We recall the events of the past 16 days, while looking forward to the next Winter Olympics. This can serve as a reflecting surface for the Games that took place here in Sochi and the next Games to take place in Pyeongchang four years later, in 2018. 

However, today we also remember the more distant past. In 1980, the XXII Summer Olympics took place in Moscow, the Russian capital, which used to be capital of the USSR then. Isn’t it symbolic, that these Olympics in the Russian southern resort city of Sochi are also the 22nd?

Nevertheless, this celebration is not only about sports: it’s all about all the best things that Russia has. It reflects the spirit, culture and ages-long traditions of Russia. Words of the Russian writers and poets, Russia in hopes and dreams of famous artists’ paintings, Russia of scientists, classical composers and ballet, teachers, musicians, athletes. This historical perspective also finds its reflection in the present: the universal human values that the Olympic Games embody.

The sadness of the farewell to winter and the Olympics is mixed with joy of the upcoming spring.

19:40 The XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi have finished. Russia's national team is in the first place in the unofficial medal count at the Olympics. Russia has beat its own record of medals at the Winter Games, winning 13 golds, 11 silvers and 9 bronze medals. 

Norway is in the second place in the team medal count with 11 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze medals. Canada is in the third position with 10 golds, 10 silvers and 5 bronze medals. The performance of the Russian national team at the Sochi Olympics has become the most successful so far. Russian athletes have beat the previous records of Winter Games in Lillehammer, where Russia won 11 golds, 8 silvers and 4 bronzes. The last record number of medals - 29 - was won by the Russian team at the Winter Games in Calgary in 1988.


19:30 A little more than half an hour is left before the start of the closing ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Spectators are already gathering at the Fisht Stadium, where the opening ceremony took place on February 7.

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