SOCHI, February 23 (RIA Novosti) – The Sochi Winter Games closed Sunday with an elegant, and at one point self-effacingly humorous, closing ceremony overseen by President Vladimir Putin and thousands of spectators the Fisht Olympic Stadium.
The ceremony began at exactly 20:14 p.m. local time in tribute to the year in which Russia has hosted its first ever Winter Olympic Games.
In a nod to the opening ceremony’s much-discussed snow flake glitch, a troupe of dancers who were to form the Olympic rings paused slightly before fanning out to create the fifth hoop.
Russian Olympic gold winners carried the national flag into the arena, after which a choir of 1,000 children performed a rousing rendition of the country's anthem.
Following the unprecedented disappointment of coming 11th with just three gold medals four years ago in Vancouver, Russia achieved its best ever result in Sochi, winning 33 medals in total, including 13 gold.
Putin and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach met shortly before the opening ceremony to congratulate one another on what have been widely hailed as successful Games.