The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics came to an end with an extravagant celebration of Russian art, culture and tradition.

Italian choreographer Danele Finzi Pasca's closing ceremony drew on Russia's rich cultural heritage, with balletic performances inspired by the Bolshoi. Acknowledging Russia's circus tradition, hundreds of clowns, illusionists, trapeze artists and acrobats flocked into the arena, transforming it into a Big Top. An army of volunteers wearing fur hats and embroidered attires filled the stadium, in the largest mass volunteer programme Russia had ever seen.

After the Olympic mantle had been handed over to South Korea, the most expensive Olympics of all time ended in a spectacular pyrotechnic display over the stadium.

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Russian pianist Denis Matsuev performs during the closing ceremony
Russian pianist Denis Matsuev performs during the closing ceremonyReuters
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