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Olympics: Party time as Sochi Games close

Sochi let its hair down on Sunday at a rollicking end-of-games Olympic party celebrating Russia's spirit and culture through the country's rich heritage of music and art. The packed Fisht stadium on the Black Sea coast was in high spirits after the home nation earlier topped the medals table. In a light-hearted reference to an embarrassing hiccup in the opening ceremony when one of the illuminated Olympic rings failed to open, hundreds of glittering performers formed four big rings and a small one, which then opened up.

Olympics: Putin's Sochi Games to close, Russia top medals

Sochi's $50 billion Olympics close Sunday with Russia hailing a Games closely wrapped up in the image of President Vladimir Putin and the country seizing first place in the medals table. Russia guaranteed top spot after a clean sweep of the men's 50km cross country race thanks to Alexander Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin and Ilia Chernousov. The hosts then hammered home their supremacy when Alexander Zubkov claimed his second gold in Sochi by leading the four-man bobsleigh team to victory.

Olympics: IOC chief hails 'great' Sochi Games

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on Sunday hailed the Sochi Games as "great", saying the response from the athletes was overwhelmingly positive. He praised President Vladimir Putin for playing an "important role" in the Games and said the Russian strongman never committed any act that was not in line with the Olympic Charter during the Games.

Olympics: Putin's Sochi Games to close, Russia top medals

Sochi's $50 billion Olympics close Sunday with Russia hailing a Games closely wrapped up in the image of President Vladimir Putin and the country seizing first place in the medals table. Russia guaranteed top spot after a clean sweep of the men's 50km cross country race thanks to Alexander Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin and Ilia Chernousov. With just ice hockey and bobsleigh finals to come, Russia is now certain, with 12 golds and a total of 32 medals, to top the medals table ahead of Norway.

Olympics: TV star Yarnold makes 6,000km trip to carry flag

Lizzy Yarnold, Britain's only gold medallist at the Winter Olympics, has taken a 6,000-kilometre round trip so she can carry her country's flag at Sunday's closing ceremony. The 25-year-old skeleton champion took the 3,078km (1,913-mile) journey home to London on Tuesday to appear on a TV chat show and then came back to Sochi on Thursday. "I was home not even two days, just a flying visit," said Yarnold of her trip to the BBC studios where she appeared with bronze medal winning snowboarder Jenny Jones.

Some companies strike marketing gold at Olympics, while others fail to get in the game

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The pressure to win during the 2014 Sochi Olympics is nearly as intense for marketers as it is for the athletes themselves. Just like there are medals handed out during the Games, there are winners and losers in advertising. It's a huge stage for marketers. Companies pay as much as $100 million for exclusive rights to sponsor Olympic teams, while others shell out tens of thousands hoping to score gold by backing individual athletes. The catch? Advertisers' fates are often tied to external factors.

Indian skier ready for flag to fly at closing ceremony

By Martyn Herman ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - India's only Olympic Alpine skier Himanshu Thakur finished last in the men's giant slalom on Wednesday and cannot wait for the Sochi Games to end. Not because he is homesick or fed-up with his performance - he just wants to walk with his country's flag at the closing ceremony after being denied that honor when the torch was lit nearly two weeks ago.

Olympics: IOC taking 'firm action' on unpaid workers wages

The International Olympic Committee said Wednesday it is taking "firm" action with the Russian authorities to ensure all the workers who built the Sochi 2014 facilities are paid in full. The failure of the companies contracted to build the sports and hotel facilities to pay thousands of workers millions of dollars in salaries on time has cast a shadow over Russia's hosting of the Games. IOC spokesman Mark Adams insisted the Olympics body had already pressured the Russian authorities on the issue.

Sochi Games global broadcast output dwarfs Vancouver

By Karolos Grohmann SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - The global broadcast output for the Sochi Winter Olympics is almost double that of Vancouver four years ago in terms of hours and channels, International Olympic Committee officials said on Wednesday. More than 102,000 hours were broadcast globally across 464 channels and digital platforms compared to 57,000 hours from 240 broadcasters in 2010, Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, told reporters.

In Sochi, athletes tiptoe around Olympics sponsorship ban; IOC says open to discussing change

SOCHI, Russia - Want to see the glasses and goggles that aerials skier Lydia Lassila and snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis wore at the Sochi Olympics? If you go to the website of the company that manufactures their eyewear, you might be in for a shock. On the Australian section of Bolle.com, photos of Lassila, Jacobellis and other competitors at the Sochi Games have been digitally blurred to obscure their faces.
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