For the past 17 days Russia has enjoyed the limelight and its fabulous mountain resort city Sochi has been the centre of the sports universe.
After a magnificent Closing ceremony the 2014 Winter Olympics came to a close with Russia topping the medal table (33 medals - 13 gold, 11 silver, 9 bronze). That double achievement - most golds and most medals overall - is the first for a host country since Norway did it in Oslo in 1952.
Launching them to first place were the country`s men`s cross-country 50 kilometer mass start racers on Sunday. Russia swept that event as Alexander Legkov took gold, Maxim Vylegzhanin took silver and Ilia Chernousov took bronze. The Russians also took gold in the four-man bobsled event.
At the previous Olympics held in Vancouver, Canada, Russia won just three golds, but this year the country is back on the international winter-sport stage, and the nation loved every moment of its return.
According to BBC Sport News International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Russia and the Black Sea resort city of Sochi had "delivered all that it promised" and risen above the concerns to deliver an impressive Olympics. "These were excellent Games that may lead to the reversal of some criticism of the Russian organisers that preceded the Olympics," he said.
Bach used his speech at the closing ceremony in the Fisht Stadium to emphasise Olympic values. "By living together under one roof in the Olympic Village you send a powerful message from Sochi to the world, that of a society of peace, tolerance and respect," he said.
South Korea were given the Olympic flag as Pyeongchang hosts the 2018 Games.
Overall, the Games cost £30bn, making Sochi the most expensive Olympics ever, and featured a record 2,800 athletes from 88 countries, with 12 new events added to attract young audiences.
The venues that have been built are spectacular and the Fisht stadium is destined to be used as a venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, F1 races and the arrival of world leaders for the next G8 summit in June. The long-term plan is to turn Sochi into a year-round destination - a snow-and-ice paradise in winter and a Cote d`Azur-style destination for tourists in the summer.
All in all, Winter Olympics 2014 have been a success and Russia is eagerly awaiting foreign guests, ready to offer infinite opportunities for international cooperation!
It`s your time to experience the capital of Winter Olympics - Sochi - "Hot, Cool, Yours!" and discover Russia “Great, New, Open!"