ROCOG Admits To Rushing Village Completion Rio Expected To Run 43% Over Budget Athletes Village Yet To Pass Safety Tests Russia Reportedly Offered Deal To IOC IOC Criticized For Allowing Russia To Field Team Australians Unhappy With Olympic Village USA Gymnastics Agrees To Buy Karolyi Ranch Editorials Call For Complete Russian Oly Ban Tennis Players Drop From Games Citing Zika Russia Expects Rio Decision By Sunday
SBD/February 24, 2014/Olympics
Sochi Closing Ceremony Showcases Russian Pride, But Lacks Block-Party Atmosphere
Published February 24, 2014
FROM START TO FINISH: In Minneapolis, Rachel Blount writes a country "typically viewed as dour and humorless showed it can even laugh at itself." The show’s opening segment "featured dancers forming Olympic rings; in a reference to the much-discussed Opening Ceremony glitch, when one ring failed to unfold, the dancers created only four rings before adding the fifth to wild applause" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/24). The GLOBE & MAIL's Eric Reguly writes the Closing Ceremony was "somewhat of an improvement on the plodding opening version, which bogged down in the mud of the athletes' parade smack in the middle of the show." But this time, the "mid-show athletes' parade worked because the audience at the Fisht Olympic stadium were there to celebrate their new sporting heroes" (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/24). In Chicago, Stacy St. Clair writes though the Closing Ceremony typically takes on a "block-party atmosphere with athletes dancing and singing together, the Sochi athletes spent the majority of the event seated quietly in the stands as if attending a college lecture." They "only left their seats at the very end of the ceremony, when English-language pop music was pumped through the sound system and they were invited to dance on the stadium floor" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/24).