Sochi takes over from Vancouver as next Winter Olympics host city
The Russian city Sochi has taken the baton from Vancouver, Canada. The Mayor of the 22d Winter Olympics city Anatoly Pakhomov received the Olympic flag from the IOC president Jacques Rogge during the 2010 Games' closing ceremony. After that Vancouver's central stadium turned for several minutes into a huge Russia House, with Russia presenting the forthcoming Sochi-2014 Olympics.
Following the performance of the Russian anthem the "BC Place" saw a fairy amidst a group of children. Acting the part was the world-famous supermodel, the Sochi-2014 ambassador and a symbol of a healthy way of life Natalya Vodianova. She waved her magic wand to start a snowfall. Maestro Valery Gergiev appeared amid flickering lights to use a state-of-the-art technology and conduct from Vancouver his orchestra in Moscow's Red Square. The huge plasma screens showed dashing troika horses, Yuri Gagarin blasting off aboard his spaceship on humanity's first-ever space flight and Misha the Bear, the mascot of the Moscow 1980 Summer Olympics, flying up in the skies, all to Georgy Sviridov music "Time, Forward!". Historical installations that embraced all that foreigners normally associate with the word "Russia" helped the audience get soaked with the Russian atmosphere.
After that the organizers took all those present to the future, to Sochi-2014, with Olympic champions Tatyana Navka and Roman Kostomarov performing a demonstration dance against the background of the Black Sea, palm-trees and mountains.
Russian ballet stars, Nikolai Tsiskaridze and Ulyana Lopatkina, took up the baton. They presented quite an unusual choreographic performance which highlighted close links between arts and sports.
The audience saw there is a link between generations when three-time Olympic champions, a figure skater Irina Rodnina and a hockey player Vladislav Tretyak, came to the stadium together with the two-time Olympic winner Yevgeny Plyushenko and hockey player Alexander Ovechkin.
Russia hopes that in 4 years the Olympics in Sochi will pave the way to victory for young Russian athletes.