The closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi featured a particularly captivating image: an aerial view of the coastal Olympic village, with the stadiums set like jewels among sparkling avenues, set off by the flash of fireworks in the night sky.
It seemed as if Russia, and especially President Vladimir Putin, had achieved everything that could be hoped for from a world-class sporting event.
Russia put on a spectacular closing show for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi last night, with fireworks, Russian music and dance, and a thousand children singing Russia's national anthem. As always, the games were full of the sort of drama and surprises that make them one of the world's great spectacles.
Sonari Glinton is about to turn out the lights in NPR's Sochi bureau, but before he does, let's get the low-down from him about the two-plus weeks of competition.
The last big games of the Olympics, including the gold medal hockey game and four-man bobsled, concluded Sunday. After the closing ceremony, thousands headed for Sochi's tiny airport. NPR's Robert Smith provides a roundup of highlights.
The torch has officially been passed. The 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, are over with all the drama in the competition and not over safety and security during the 17 days of the events, as many had feared.
Outdoor fireworks rattled Sochi's Fisht Stadium as the Olympic flame was set to be extinguished Sunday. Winners and losers in the international competition now will have to look east to South Korea to test their Olympic mettle in the contest for medals four years from now, in 2018.
Just two medals remain to be awarded at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as Canada and Sweden face off on the hockey ice. If the Canadian men take gold, Canada will have swept all four traditional team sports. Canadian teams have already won gold in men's and women's curling and women's ice hockey.
[Add at 10:00 a.m. ET: Canada's men's hockey team has won the gold]