UK & World News

  • 24 February 2014, 1:27

Sochi Send-Off Mocks Olympic Rings Gaffe

The most expensive Olympics ever has had a spectacular farewell where they poked fun at a glitch in the opening ceremony.

Dancers at the closing ceremony of theSochi Winter Gamesformed four rings and a clump in the centre of the stadium - a tongue-in-cheek reference to the gaffe 17 days earlier that saw one of the five Olympic rings fail to open.

The dancers waited for a few seconds before forming a ring of their own to complete the set, drawing laughs from a crowd, which included Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Spectators were treated to a visually stunning show that celebrated centuries of Russian history and culture.

Performers decked out in smart tails and puffy white wigs performed a ballet of grand pianos, pushing 62 of them around the stadium while soloist Denis Matsuev played bars from Sergei Rachmaninoff's Concert No.2.

Ballet dancers from the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky also took part.

The faces of Russian authors through the ages were projected onto giant screens, and a pile of books was turned into a tornado of loose pages.

Athletes then streamed into the arena, dancing and taking photos of themselves.

It was a lavish end to an Olympics that cost more than 30bn, far surpassing the total spent on Beijing's Summer Games in 2008.

The event was an undoubted success for Team GB, with British athletes picking up four medals.

This matched the record haul at the inaugural Winter Olympics in 1924 and beat the target set by UK Sport.

Thoughts will now turn to bettering that in the South Korean county of Pyeongchang in 2018.

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