After more than two weeks and nearly 100 medal events, the 2014 Winter Olympics concluded in spectacular fashion Sunday in Sochi, Russia.
Prior to the closing ceremony, the final medals were awarded in bobsleigh, cross country and men's ice hockey. Russia secured four medals, including two golds to finish atop the medal count, comfortably edging out the United States.
Unsurprisingly, the celebration that followed was massive and one that was symbolic of Russia's triumph on its home soil.
In case you missed it, Twitter was following along.
The ceremony opened with a variety of artistic performances that were heavy on glitter:
There was a floating boat full of children and a sea of dancers disguised as a school of fish. One of the highlights of the ceremony came when groups of dancers formed the five Olympic rings.
Poking fun at themselves for the infamous ring malfunction during the opening ceremony on Feb. 7, organizers had one group hold back to reference the busted ring:
The fifth ring eventually appeared:
Afterward, Russian children sang the country's national anthem. While President Vladimir Putin and others were looking on with pride, some weren't as enthused:
The musical performances continued with a drum line that had some on Twitter referencing the 2002 film featuring Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana:
The flags from the competing nations were also put on display for everyone to see. Four-time Olympic medalist and women's hockey star Julie Chu was the flag-bearer for Team USA:
The closing ceremony took on the feel of one big party with athletes dancing inside the stadium and looking more like seniors on graduation day.
During a break in the partying, the final medals were awarded for all to see:
The performances continued with some complex dance routines, one of which featured a handful of grand pianos. There were also floating stages and an enormous chandelier:
The entertainment eventually gave way to a circus, complete with jugglers and acrobats:
Of course, you can't have a closing ceremony without fireworks:
The celebration reached a climax with the passing of the Olympic flag and the singing of the South Korean national anthem in anticipation for the 2018 Winter Games.
The colorful event concluded with a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who stated that Russia had fulfilled its promise:
The brief encore included giant mirrors and even larger mascots:
One highlight from a U.S. perspective occurred when Putin made a surprise visit to the Team USA house on Valentine's Day.
U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun and other Americans were flattered by the gesture, per USA Today's Nancy Armour. Blackmun said:
We're sport people. We're not political people. When a head of state called and asked if he could visit, we were delighted. We certainly didn't get into any of the things that are deeper issues. All we talked about was sport, and that's appropriate given that that's all we do.
Although the world will have to wait another four years for the Winter Games to return, there's no telling how long it could be before Russia hosts them again.
However, Dmitry Chernyshenko—Russian businessman and president of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee—believes Russia didn't disappoint.
"This is the new face of Russia. Our Russia. And for us, these games are the best ever." - Dmitry Chernyshenko. #Sochi2014— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 23, 2014
For now, the torch has been passed to Pyeongchang, South Korea, which will look to capture the tradition and spirit of the Winter Games.
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