Sochi: Closing Ceremony Mocks Olympic Ring Malfunction (Video)
MOSCOW – The Sochi Winter Olympics drew to a close on Sunday with a glitzy ceremony that matched -- or likely surpassed -- the opening ceremony in its scope. The creators made a joke out of the highly publicized light malfunction two weeks ago.
Although creative director Konstantin Ernst promised a lower-key, "art-house" ceremony, spectators who gathered at the Fisht Olympic Stadium witnessed a grandiose event featuring thousands of participants.
The ceremony started off with the appearance of the Russian squad to music by Dimitri Tiomkin, an Oscar-winning movie composer of Russian ancestry.
The ceremony included a performance of the Russian national anthem by a children's choir, featuring 1,000 choristers selected from all over Russia by renowned conductor and opera director Valery Gergiev, and the "New Russia" orchestra led by violist Yuri Bashmet.
The other country's squads entered the arena to the 1993 hit "No Limits" by the Dutch Eurodance band 2 Unlimited.
The main part of the ceremony was conceived as an overview or Russian culture, featuring projections of paintings by artist Marc Chagall, a performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 by pianist Denis Matsuev, with several dozen pianos moving over the arena, ballet dancers and actors impersonating many well-known Russian writers.
The incident during the opening ceremony's light show, when one of the five Olympic rings didn't light, was jokingly alluded to when one of the five groups of dancers forming Olympic rings didn't "light."
The appearance of huge animated dolls of the Olympics mascots Polar Bear, Hare and Leopard, to a musical theme from the 1980 Moscow Olympics' ceremony, was supposed to make the connection between the two Russian Olympics. Russians' reaction to the closing ceremony on social media appeared enthusiastic.