Handing off olympicsRussia put on a spectacular show to close down an exciting and successful Olympics. A celebration of the country’s history through a series of dance, music, theater, and fireworks highlighted the evening. Although there were early media reports of brown water and sub-par accommodations, the final conclusion for most people was that Sochi was an overall positive experience. As the most expensive Olympic Games to date at $51 billion dollars, it’s a good thing people will look back on the overall production with good memories. The close of the ceremony represents the end of one Games but the beginning of another, with the hand off to Pyeongchang, South Korea.

There were no major issues throughout the 17 days of competition, which was somewhat of a concern for attendees going into the Games. A few minor doping violations did surface, but nothing from competitors who ended up with medals. Reviving a forgotten resort town in Russia will be the long-lasting story for this region.

One of the most exciting parts of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games was the addition of 12 events and more specifically a larger “action sports” category. We watched as underdogs such as Kaitlyn Farrington took home the first Olympic Gold in Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe and favorites like David Wise won the first Olympic Men’s Halfpipe Skiing competition. These events gave the Olympics an edge and perhaps even newer, younger viewership. Merging X Games style events into an Olympic format proved successful. It will be exciting to watch more competitors push the limits of the sports knowing they have the opportunity to compete on a world stage every four years.

The Skiing and Snowboarding community had plenty of highlights to keep them entertained over two weeks time. We will not forget how Shaun White failed to medal after dropping out of Slopestyle to focus on a third Gold Medal in Halfpipe. Bode Miller, a legend amongst skiers, took home a bronze medal at the end of his exciting and successful career. In the Halfpipe, many athletes, both skiers and snowboarders, complained about the conditions, but Maddie Bowman showed everyone that she is untouchable in Women’s Ski Pipe. These are the kinds of stories that will stick with us, and will be reborn come the next Winter Olympics. We now have our own personal lists of skiers and boarders to watch over the next few years and see how there careers progress.

Closing CeremonyAlthough Russia took first place in the Medal count with 13 Gold and 33 total, Team USA proved they are alive and well coming in second with 28 medals overall. With competition being the focus, it is still nice to see athletes from across the globe come together and celebrate the common ground of their individual sports. As the Olympic halo trickles out over the next week, understand that these athletes are already back to work, getting ready for another day and another chance at Gold.

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