The 2014 Sochi Games came to an extravagant conclusion Sunday with a Closing Ceremony that matched the fantastic display of the Opening Ceremony from over two weeks ago.
As the ceremony neared its end, the Sochi mascots – who have become a staple of the games all the way back to their introduction at the Opening Ceremony – entered the center of the stadium.
The Sochi bear approached the Olympic flame and somewhat surprisingly, it was the bear that “blew out” the Olympic flame, signifying the end of the Games.
Like us all, the bear was extremely distraught that the Games had to end. Fittingly, the bear cried a single bear tear down his left bear cheek. We'll miss you too, big fella.
It really has been a great Olympics for bears, hasn't it?
The Sochi bear mascot made his big debut at the opening ceremony. He kind of freaked us out at first, but personally, I became quite fond of him as the Games went along.
We can't forget his pal, the Sochi polar bear, either. The polar bear had some rough moments in Sochi. Trying to fit into this car was one thing, but Russia's loss in hockey was especially tough for our furry friend.
At least he got to frighten the American players while they unsuccessfully battled for the bronze against Finland.
There has been a new standard set in Olympic mascots and the 2016 Rio Games and the 2018 Pyeongchang Games will certainly have a tough act to follow.
Click on the image below for photos from the Closing Ceremony: