After 17 days and 98 events involving about 2,850 athletes from 89 countries, the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia have come to a close. For the host country, the games ended much better than they began.
Vladimir Putin's Russia spent more than $50 billion to prepare Sochi, a resort town on the Black Sea, for a world of visitors, making these Olympics the costliest ever. Before the Olympic torch was lit, Russia faced a host of security concerns as well as swirling controversy about its anti-gay policies and human rights record. The conditions visiting athletes and media found in Sochi added a new level of social media humiliation.
Then the games began. While the atheltic competition couldn't blot out the political realities — and the violence in neighboring Ukraine only intensified questions about of the role of Putin's Russia in the world — the Sochi Olympics went off relatively smoothly, and without terrorist incident. Well enough, in other words, for IOC President Thomas Bach to call them an "extraordinary success." Russia's home advantage only added to the swelling of national pride, helping the host team finish atop the medal standings. Here's how the countries finished the competition, and scroll down for a look at the all-time Olympic medal count.
The U.S. still holds a wide lead in the all-time modern Olympic medal count.
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