23 Feb 2014

Ten best pictures from the Sochi closing ceremony

The Winter Olympics come to an end with a spectacular ceremony leaving us in no doubt of Russia’s epic cultural history – and leaving Sochi with the last laugh.


The Russian hosts of the Winter Olympics put on a spectacular show to finish this year’s Games, leaving the IOC chief to declare: “Russia had delivered all it had promised”.

They also topped the medals table, followed by Norway and Canada in second and third place, leaving Team GB to come in 19th place

The closing ceremony’s Creative Director Konstantin Ernst said he wanted to present a “European vision” of Russia, told through the eyes of a young girl, Lubov (above).

And while the eyes of the world were on events in Ukraine, with William Hague warning Russia not to intervene, the ceremony saw Lubov travelling through Russian culture, “turning the pages of Russian literature, enjoying the magic of Russian art and listening to the wonderful sounds of Russian music”, Ernst said in a statement.


The ceremony showcased an array of Circus performers…


… and dancers from Russia’s world-famous Bolshoi ballet. They came together with their rivals from the Kirov company to perform a number of routines.


The Russian/French artist Marc Chagall also got a tribute, with an upside down world created live on stage, complete with blue clouds and floating people.


Russian pianist Denis Matsuev made an appearance, playing a piano concerto by Russian composer Rachmanivov (we think it was concerto number two), surrounded by men in Mozart wigs.

Olympic rings (R)

And there was even a sense of humour on display, with a nod to the technical failure during the opening ceremony which meant one of the five Olympic rings failed to light up.


It’s the Sochi Bear! The Winter Olympic mascots made an appearance – in giant mechanical form – and the Sochi bear even shed a little tear of emotion.


The grand finale: a full fireworks display finished the ceremony.