The 2010 Winter Olympics were declared closed during a ceremony at BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver, and the baton has been passed to Sochi, where the next Winter Games will take place in 2014.
The Vancouver Games, which started on February 12, finished on Sunday with Canada`s triumph in the men`s hockey final match, in which the host nation defeated the U.S. 3-2.
The U.S. leads the overall medal standings, with a total of 37 medals won in Vancouver (9 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze). Canada is first in the gold medal count, with 14 gold medals grabbed at the Games, and third in the overall standings, with a total of 26 medals (including 7 silvers and 5 bronzes).
Germany, which secured 30 medals (10 gold, 13 silver and 7 bronze) is second in the overall medal count.
Russia occupies the sixth position, with a total of 15 medals (3 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze).
During the closing ceremony, the Olympic flag was handed from Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov. The Russian national anthem and ballet were performed at BC Place as part of 2014 Sochi Games presentation.
More than 150 Russian specialists involved in organizing the Sochi Olympics have visited the Games in Vancouver. Dmitry Chernyshenko, the head of organizing committee for the Sochi Games, said he would take the Canadian experience into account while organizing the 2014 Olympics.
Pointing to a horrific accident which claimed the life of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during a training run hours before the start of the Games, the organizers of the Sochi Olympics pledged to take efforts to assure the security of the athletes.
Chernyshenko also pledged to create in Sochi "the same unique atmosphere" as in Vancouver, "although it will be slightly different, in the Russian style."
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