Posted: Feb 23, 2014 6:34 AM
Updated: Feb 23, 2014 6:35 AM
SOCHI, Russia (AP) Flushed with pride after a spectacular showing at the costliest Olympics ever, Russia is preparing to celebrate 17 days of sport-driven global unity with a farewell show that hands off the Winter Games to their next host: Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The closing ceremony starts at 20:14 local time precisely (11:14 a.m. ET). The time is a nod to the year that President Vladimir Putin seized upon to remake Russia's image with the Olympics' power to wow and concentrate global attention and massive resources.
IOC President Thomas Bach is expected to use the closing ceremony to deliver an upbeat verdict on the games, his first as International Olympic Committee president.
One of Sochi's big successes was security. Feared attacks by Islamic militants who had threatened to target the games didn't materialize.