The end of the 2014 Winter Olympics are rapidly approaching, but there’s still the closing ceremony yet to come to cap things off.
The opening ceremony was a grand spectacle, if not one without a little controversy, so it’ll be interesting to see how creative director Konstantin Ernst responds with the closing of the games.
Read on to find out when and where you can watch the closing ceremony, as well as what to expect from Sochi’s final act.
When: Sunday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m. ET (Replay shown at 8:30 p.m. ET)
Where: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia
What to Expect
The closing ceremony for any Olympics is always an interesting one, as the host city says goodbye and athletes vie for the coveted flag bearer spots for their respective nations.
For Sochi, organizers seem confident that the closing ceremony will be a bit of a departure from the opulent opening ceremony.
While Ernst put on quite the spectacle with the opener, many have hinted that the closing will be a little less intense.
"As grand as the opening was, with this one they went for another side of Russia - intimate, full of heart, and they (Russian organizers) mentioned the word 'nostalgia'," Marco Balich, artistic executive director of the event, told Reuters’ Mike Collett-White. "For sure it will be the biggest Winter Olympics closing ceremony ever."
With big expectations to meet, even with the event’s supposed low-key feel, it should certainly be a spectacle worth watching.
There’s also a good-natured, if intense, debate centered around which athletes should lead their nations’ delegations as flag bearers.
The Americans have chosen ice hockey forward Julie Chu to lead them in the ceremony, honoring the four-time Olympian that’s helped Team USA earn a bronze and three silvers in her time with the team.
However, on the Canadian side of things, the decision is a little more controversial.
Canada has plenty of worthy candidates, from hockey star Marie-Philip Poulin to speedskater Denny Morrison, but there’s one candidate that would be a particularly inspired—if unconventional—choice.
Skater Gilmore Junio has people across the globe buzzing, as Yahoo Sports Canada’s Alex Chippin explains.
Whenever a Twitter hashtag catches on, it’s worth noticing. The #GilForFlagBearer campaign has been going strong since long track speed skater Gilmore Junio gave his spot in the 1000-metre event to teammate Denny Morrison, who rewarded the faith with a silver medal. Junio’s selfless deed epitomizes the Olympic spirit, along with good ol’ fashioned Canadian kindness. Junio gave his spot, and Canada may now give Junio its flag at the Sochi Closing Ceremony. If chosen, he would become the first Canadian to not win a medal and be the flag bearer at the Closing Ceremony.
It might seem like a minor distinction but nations with rich Winter Olympic history like Canada take the honor very seriously.
Controversy will likely abound no matter who gets picked, given the bevy of worthy candidates.
But no matter who leads out the Canadian delegation, the closing ceremony should be a fitting send off for Sochi.
The games had their share of ups and downs but if the opening ceremony’s grandeur was any indication, the closing will be no disappointment.