Outdoor fireworks rattled Sochi’s Fisht Stadium as the Olympic flame was set to be extinguished Sunday, bidding farewell to the 22nd Winter Games.
Winners and losers in the international competition now will have to look east to South Korea to test their Olympic mettle in the contest for medals four years from now, in 2018.
As the closing ceremony began, waves were projected on the bottom of the stadium as costumed dancers undulated like schools of fish through the stadium.
In a reference to the now-famous hang-fire when the last Olympic rings failed to ignite in the opening ceremony two weeks ago, NPR’s Tamara Keith tweets from the stadium:
“Russia has a sense of humor. Glowing silver people form Olympic Rings with sad snowflake unopened. Then open it to laughter and applause.”
With Russian President Vladimir Putin in attendance, the Olympic flag was raised and the Russian flag was carried in by some of the most successful Olympiads to the strains of the host country’s national anthem, sung by a massive children’s choir.
“Tonight the Olympic flame will be extinguished, bringing the games to a clos, but the memories and friendships made at Sochi 2014 will live on,” literature distributed to journalists for the closing ceremony reads.