Sochi Closing Ceremony: The Best Pictures
Hard to believe it, but it's already all over. The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics came to an end on Sunday, meaning no more toilet jokes, Sochi Bear or athletes-with-puppies. But don't worry, the crazy, surreal experience that has been Sochi was appropriately marked by a trippy closing ceremony — so click on to see some of the Closing Ceremony’s best moments in pictures.
Some Pizzazz To Start Things Off
As with the Opening Ceremony, things kick off when fireworks erupt over the stadium. Ready, set, Sochi!
A Floating Boat
A rowboat carrying the little girl who starred in the opening ceremony glides through the sky, surrounded by flying figures in white robes.
A mass of be-sequined performers files into the stadium, making wavelike formations over a floor that looks like the ocean, almost like some giant Sochi organism.
The Glittery Perfomers Are Pretty Funny
The writhing, moving glittery forms on the stadium floor converges into an Olympic ring formation — for a moment, the last ring stays shut, but then it flowers out and a joke is made.
The Russian National Anthem Gets Sung
However, unlike a certain other Sochi performance, not everyone seems to know the words. And Putin, being Putin, doesn’t even crack a smile.
Athletes March In, Snap Photos
The athletes file in, proudly waving their flags and taking pictures with their smartphones, flanked on either side by what look like royals from a nearby planet. In the background, some casual 90s electro-club sounds.
A Lot of Pianos, and A Lot of Mozart Costumes
It’s not just Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2, it’s Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2 being played while dozens of other pianos are careened around the stadium in synchronized formation. By men in full Mozart get-up, including bouffant white wigs.
It Wouldn't Be Russia Without the Ballet
The Bolshoi and Mariinsky join forces to perform some breathtaking ballet, complete with Princess Jasmine-character.
Things Get Crazy as Russian Literature Stars Are Commemorated
Pages swirl through the air as actors play out characters from great Russian novels, after which giant pictures of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Gogol, as well as other famous Russian novelists, are raised from the ground.
Things Stay Surreal as Circus Comes to Town
The arena is suddenly filled with hundreds — and I mean, literally, hundreds — of circus performers; from clowns to contortionists, jugglers to acrobats. They run around, twist, jump, stretch, you name it, all while a giant circus tent is erected, in the middle of the stadium. Casual.
Sochi Bear and the Nightmare-Mascots Say Goodbye, Get Emotional
Maybe it’s the booze, maybe it’s the people, but Sochi bear gets a little teared up as he blows out the flame and marks the end of the downright phantasmagorical closing ceremony.