Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics come to a close

By Rebecca Ramirez, Staff Writer

The 16 day event of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics finally came to a close last night. NBC aired the closing ceremony on Sunday Feb. 23, leaving various impacts on viewers.

“I cried when they ended,” said junior Hannah Fullmer.

The closing ceremony contained fireworks, a light show, dancers, and performers, and ended with a giant bear blowing out the Olympic flame. The infamous mishap of the fifth Olympic ring not opening during the opening ceremony was reenacted during the closing ceremony by a group of dancers who formed the Olympic rings. The act of Russia’s humility drew laughter from the crowd.

“[I tried] to take this closing ceremony seriously,” said freshman Teagan Langseth-Depaolis,  “but all I see is people dancing around in tin foil.”

The performance has been described by critics as similar to Cirque du Soleil and has been seen as an attempt of Russian amity.

Sochi has taken the place of the most expensive Olympic games, costing $51 million. The Beijing Summer Olympics came close at $47 million, but the third highest game, the 1998 Nagano, Japan Olympics, came in at a mere $26 billion. Sochi became the world’s biggest construction site in preparation for the Olympics; hotels, four ski resorts, dozens of retailers and restaurants, five sports arenas, one stadium, and roads were built to prepare the city for the games. The T.V. network NBC spent $1,025 million between paying the International Olympic Committee for film and digital rights to footage and producing the footage for viewing.

While the construction and extensive additions to the city were convenient for the rush of tourists during the games, what will happen to the town of Sochi now that the event is over? The city is now capable of handling 20,000 tourists every hour, but those figures only made sense during the games.

At the end of the games, Russia took the lead in medals with 33 total medals, and out of 88 countries, USA came in fourth place with 28 total medals.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Unlike Sochi, a massive city reconstruction will not need to be held at Pyeongchang.