The 2014 Winter Olympics seemed to fly by, but they are now almost over as organizers in Sochi are set for the dramatic closing ceremony.
Athletes from various countries around the world felt the joy of victory or the agony of defeat in one of 15 different sports. The final day of action includes three events—including the highly anticipated hockey final between Canada and Sweden—before the official closing ceremony and the extinguishing of the Olympic flame.
All of this leads to the passing of the torch to South Korea, which will host the 2018 Games. This event and much more should make the closing ceremony extremely memorable.
Here is everything you need to know about the event and what to watch for.
When: Sunday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m. ET
Where: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia
Watch: NBC (replay shown at 8:30 p.m. ET)
Who Will Carry the Flag for Each Country?
The opening ceremony features a parade of nations with each country selecting a flag bearer who has accomplished a lot in their careers to this point. However, those who carry the flags at the closing ceremony are usually ones who were excellent at the current Games.
As a result, you are left watching an all-star cast of the best Olympians throughout the two weeks. While not every country has announced its representative, it would not be surprising to see multiple gold-medal winners like Russia's Victor An, Belarus' Darya Domracheva or Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen get the honor.
The United States actually chose someone who did not win gold, but instead silver as part of the women's hockey team:
Julie Chu is the squad's veteran leader, and the team came within a minute of taking home a gold medal. Still, they displayed some great effort and sportsmanship in the loss.
Chu and the rest of the flag bearers will be a great representation of what the Olympics are truly about.
Can Sochi End on a Strong Note?
At the beginning of the month, all anyone could talk about was how bad things were in Sochi. From hotel issues to safety concerns, people were more excited to hear about the problems than the event itself:
However, the majority of the Olympics have gone on without a hitch. The only thing left to do is to end the event with another fantastic show near the level of the opening ceremony.
Of course, it is first important to correct one of the more notable mistakes from Sochi:
Either way, Russia should be proud of a successful Olympics that exceeded almost everyone's expectations. All that matters is making sure things end on a strong note to avoid any lasting mockery.
How Will South Korea Kick Off the Next Olympics?
One of the main purposes of the closing ceremony is to give a nod to the next Olympiad. In this case, fans will see the transition to the 2018 Winter Olympics set for Pyeongchang, South Korea.
As a result, South Korea is not holding back as it will feature a few of the country's biggest stars, according to Jodi Jill of The Examiner:
Some of the biggest Korean entertainers are expected to be part of the program. Na Yoon-Sun, Jo Sumi, Na Yoon Sun (also known as Youn Sun Nah,) Lee Seung-Chul, and Yang Bang-Ean have been confirmed as part of the program. Another tidbit of interesting information on the ceremony is the massive amount of costumes that will be used in the performance. Close to 10,000 costumes are ready to use for the Closing Ceremony.
Of course, South Koreans were extremely upset with the Olympics this week when figure skater Yuna Kim could not defend her gold medal. She finished in second place in the women's competition behind Russia's Adelina Sotnikova, a result that the South Korean Olympic Committee is now protesting, via NBC Olympics.
No matter what the outcome of this protest, they will certainly hope that things go more smoothly from this perspective four years from now.
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