On the evening of Feb. 23, the closing ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympic Games unfolded at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi with more than 7,000 actors and dancers performing against the backdrop of 43,000 spectacular pieces of stage scenery. RBTH went behind the scenes of the ceremony to talk to some of the organizers of that unforgettable show.
Andrei Nasovsky, executive producer of the ceremony:
"In preparing the final show, the main task was not just to maintain the high bar set by the opening ceremony, but to achieve new professional heights. We were very much inspired by the Russian athletes. It is thanks to their perseverance and will to win that we managed to do everything at the highest possible level."
Anastasiya Titkova, vice president of the Russian Union of Dancesport:
"Over 300 dancers took part in both of the Olympics ceremonies. The soldiers of the Peter the Great era, dancing couples at the ball, the residents of the fantasy village, the literary characters and librarians – those were all dancers we have trained, who have come from various Russian cities. It was the first time that dancesport professionals were invited to work at the Olympics. I hope that the dream of the president of the Russian Union of Dancesport, Valentin Yudashkin, to see dancesport included on the list of Olympic events will soon become a reality."
At the end of the closing ceremony, Sochi handed the show over to performers from South Korea, which will be hosting the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in the city of PyeongChang. This part of the show included a portrayal of episodes from Korean history as well as the country's national anthem performed by young singers. South Koreans in the audience sang along.
Te-jung, spectator, Republic of Korea:
"I am absolutely delighted to be here, at the Sochi Olympics. To attend sporting events and support the athletes is an unforgettable experience. The high level demonstrated by Russia means that we should take preparations for our Olympics very seriously in order to be able to continue this wonderful tradition."
South Korea has four years to prepare for the games. In the meantime, Sochi has bid farewell to the XXII Winter Olympics. The mascots - the Bear, the Hare, and the Leopard – put the Olympic flame out. Many of the spectators present at the stadium had tears in their eyes.
Anna and Dmitry, Russia:
"What we saw today was simply incredible! We watched the opening ceremony on TV and were astonished by its scale, fascinating sets and spectacular fireworks. But today's show is something very different. It was more classical, more elegant and very touching. We are happy that we were able to see it with our own eyes."
"I think the idea to show Russia in reflections, as was done at the show, is about your country's image abroad. This is how we see it: as an incredibly emotional country, very profound, but at the same time very modern and lively."
Phil, United States:
"The audience at the stands greeted the athletes and enjoyed a wonderful show with excellent set pieces. And then they suddenly saw themselves reflected in giant mirrors – it was so unexpected and so impressive! I think at that moment everybody felt themselves as part of the world. It was a brilliant idea!"