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This is part 2 of my “Best of Sochi Olympics” mini-series. Read part 1 here.

russia sweeps podium in men's ski marathon Russia won most gold (13) and most silver (11) medals with the highest overall medal count (33). Norway was second and Canada third. USA, with the largest number of athletes in Sochi, was fourth, as judged by the gold medal count. USA was 2nd in overall medal count. Final medal count (source sochi2014.com):

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Russian Fed. 13 11 9 33
2 Norway 11 5 10 26
3 Canada 10 10 5 25
4 United States 9 7 12 28
5 Netherlands 8 7 9 24
6 Germany 8 6 5 19
7 Switzerland 6 3 2 11
8 Belarus 5 0 1 6
9 Austria 4 8 5 17
10 France 4 4 7 15

In addition, Sochi Paralympic Games have just ended. Russia finished with an overwhelming win: 30 gold, 80 overall medals. Congratulations to all winners!

I thought the Sochi Olympics were very well organized and spectacularly presented. The observers noted the impeccable quality of skating, skiing and other facilities. And of course, the Opening Ceremony, but to me, especially the Closing Ceremony, were simply spectacular and mesmerizing. More about the Closing Ceremony below!

This is what Sochi Winter Olympics medals looked like

Sochi medals

The city of Sochi, as well as Krasnaya Polyana and Adler, where the mountain-based events took place, were truly transformed with lots of state-of-the-art new infrastructure built in the short 7 years. Below are some of the Sochi views.

Olympic venues by the Black Sea

sochi olympic venues

sochi olympics venues

Fisht Olympic Stadium in the shape of a Faberge egg. Fisht Stadium is named after a nearby mountain.

fisht olympic stadium

Iceberg Skating Rink

Iceberg skating rink iceberg rink at night

Olympic Rings Island

Olympic rings island sochi

Olympic Village

Olympic village

Brand new Sochi Adventure Park built to coincide with the Olympics

Sochi Adventure Park


The organizers did an excellent job with the Opening Ceremony, but I thought they’ve outdone themselves with the Closing Ceremony. They had big shoes to fill. Back in 1980, the Closing Ceremony of the Moscow Olympics was so spectacular and touching that people still remember it with nostalgia. The culmination of the Moscow Olympics Closing Ceremony was Olympisky Mishka, or Mishka the Bear (Moscow Olympics mascot) shedding tears and flying away into the sky accompanied by the beautiful farewell song, “Good bye, Moscow.” The stadium exploded and people cried as Mishka flew away. See the video of that event below.

The Sochi organizers wanted to remind people of that moment, yet at the same time their task was to create a brand new, memorable experience. Let’s see how they managed it.

Sochi Olympics Closing Ceremony in the words of the CNN olympics edition: olympics.edition.cnn.com“This show was sublime. It made the London closing event, or any entertainment at sports event, third rate. So much culture vs cheap disco and rap that seem to please the Western audiences.”

Hard not to agree with the obvious.

Here I can’t help but mention how truly HORRIFIC and BIASED the coverage of the Opening Ceremony and of the entire Sochi Olympics was by the Western mainstream media. Watching day after day the anti-Russian propaganda on CNBC, which unfortunately has the monopoly on Olympic broadcast in North America, was like pulling teeth with an added torture chamber as a free bonus. On top of that, in their Sochi reportage they managed the mind-boggling number of inaccuracies, while at the same time failing to mention the important points. Frankly, I can’t classify this kind of coverage in any way other than insulting.

But of course, in the situation when the truth and information blockade in the USA is almost 100%, this is the only coverage available. So, if you’d like to revisit the Sochi Closing Ceremony with someone who actually knows what she is talking about, then read on.

Below, I will revisit this amazing show, as much for myself as for anyone’s benefit. All are welcome to take a trip back in time together with me.

First, there was a chuckle. During the Opening Ceremony one of the Olympic rings didn’t open. During the Closing Ceremony, organizers added an interesting humorous twist.

Ring that didn’t open during the Opening Ceremony, symbolizing America

Sochi olympic ring that didn't open

A humorous reminder during the Closing Ceremony, when the same ring first appears closed, after which, with a slight delay, it opens fully to everyone’s delight and laughter. Notice flying angels above symbolically protecting the Olympics.

sochi closing ring slow to open

sochi closing ring slow to open 2

During the Closing Ceremony, the little star of the Opening Ceremony, girl named Lyubov, which means ‘love,’ is joined by another boy and girl, named Yury and Valentina – after the first man in Space Yury Gagarin and first woman in Space, Valentina Tereshkova. Together, the three of them will revisit the important achievements of the Russian art, music, literature and of course, the Russian ballet. They will fly in a beautiful sky gondola to the divine song by a diva and hitch a ride with the three Sochi mascots, Mishka the Bear, Snow Leopard and White Hare. They will get to show off their athletic skills to the famous Misha the Bear (Or Mishka the Bear) and they’ll witness Misha’s tear while he extinguishes the Olympic flame.

Gorgeous moments of the closing ceremony

sochi closing 2 2014 Winter Olympic Games - Closing Ceremony

sochi closing ceremony flying dancer

Tribute to the Russian art and creativity, echoing and reminding of the way of life in the Ancient Rus, which included bright and cheerful “yarmarki” – fairs, and colorful street entertainers. Artists, whose work is echoed here are Kandinsky, Rerich and Vrubel, to name a few.

sochi closing 5

Sochi Olympics Closing Ceremony   OLY197

2014 Winter Olympic Games - Closing Ceremony

sochi closing tribute to rus art

Tribute to the great Russian literature, including Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Akhmatova and many others

sochi closing tribute to rus literature 2

sochi closing tribute to rus literature

Tribute to the Russian music, including Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov and others

sochi closing tribute to rus music

sochi closing tribute to rus music 2

Tribute to the Russian ballet. The chandelier and the curtain come from the two famous Russian theaters: Bolshoi and Mariinsky

sochi closing tribute to rus balletOLY-2014-CLOSINGSochi Olympics Closing Ceremony

The Bolshoi Theater chandelier

sochi closing tribute to rus ballet 3

The three mascots of the Sochi Olympics: the skiing White Hare and the snowboarding Snow Leopard are the natives of the Caucasus. Mishka the Bear on skates is the beloved Olympisky Mishka mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, which is reborn to greet guests of the Sochi Olympics.

sochi closing mascots 2Children recognize Olympisky Mishka and demonstrate to him their athletic skills. This is a hint that the new generation of Russians remembers their heritage and won’t let the country down. Of course the Soviet athletes won the most Olympic medals and Soviet sport was the most advanced in the world. On this photo, the boy Yury does a somersault to impress Mishka.

sochi closing boy named Yury shows off to Misha his athlethicism

The mascots take the children for a ride

sochi closing mascots and childrenMishka directing the children’s choir

sochi closing mascots Mishka the Bear is preparing to close the Sochi Olympics by blowing out the Olympic flame

sochi closing Misha and other mascots

Mishka the Bear is blowing out the Sochi Olympics flame

APTOPIX Sochi Olympics Closing Ceremony

sochi closing misha

And this is the moment everyone was waiting for! Just like in 1980, Mishka the Bear sheds a tear

sochi closing Misha sheds a tear 2Watch the original classic!

Video: The original 1980 Moscow Olympics closing ceremony segment with Olimpisky Mishka flying into the sky, as well as the “Goodbye Moscow” closing song.


Video: Watch Mishka shedding tears, and tears from the audience as Olympisky Mishka flies away – restored footage.

The flying gondola takes the children across the entire stadium to the beautiful tune of the Sochi Olympics waltz

sochi closing the sky shipSochi closing ship and mascots

Spasibo, Putin! Thank you, Putin! Spectators carry Russian flag to the Closing Ceremony

closing ceremony spasibo putin


Closing Ceremony fireworks

sochi closing final fireworks 2 final fireworks Closing CeremonyVideo: Fireworks farewell. Sochi closing ceremony ends in spectacular show:


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