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Costly, political, successful: Sochi Olympics end

United States' Julie Chu, right, carries her nation's flag while participating in the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Sunday in Sochi, Russia. Chu is a former assistant coach for the Union College women's hockey team.
United States' Julie Chu, right, carries her nation's flag while participating in the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Sunday in Sochi, Russia. Chu is a former assistant coach for the Union College women's hockey team.
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SOCHI, Russia — Flushed with pride after its athletes’ spectacular showing at the costliest Olympics ever, Russia celebrated Sunday night with a visually stunning finale that handed off a smooth but politically charged Winter Games to their next host, Pyeongchang in South Korea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, these Olympics’ political architect and booster-in-chief, watched and smiled as Sochi gave itself a giant pat on the back for a Winter Games that IOC President Thomas ...

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