By Nick Butler at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi

The Flame is extinguished during the Closing Ceremony to mark the end of Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesFebruary 23 - Sochi 2014 closed here this evening with a Ceremony combining cultural tradition with all the vibrancy and colour of modern day Russia which has been so evident over the last 16 days.

It had been promised beforehand that tonight's event would be different in tone from the Opening Ceremony, and would be imbued with an "optimistic wistfulness" to reflect the passing of Sochi's time at the centre of the world. 

Indeed, while there a similar focus on Russian values it was done in a more cultural vein on this occasion to reflect the Olympic themes of culture and education in sport through homages to Russian literature, music and dance - as well as the circus.

But there were also many more 21st Century elements, such as during the parade of athletes and the nightclub themed party celebrations to greet the end of the Ceremony. 

Most positively of all, the humility that has permeated these Games was evident as, in a nod to the criticism received after the Opening Ceremony, dancers weaving into the shape of the Olympic Rings left the fifth ring as a malfunctioning dot. 

The Closing Ceremony satirically acknowledged the technical glitch of the Opening Ceremony ©Getty ImagesThe Closing Ceremony satirically acknowledged the technical glitch of the Opening Ceremony ©Getty Images

In a similarly light-hearted manner the Olympic Flame was blown out by the polar bear mascot before hundreds of children bearing candles.

In contrast to the grand yet quirky style of Sochi, the Pyeonchang 2018 segment was perhaps more low-key focusing on the theme of "new horizons" by using traditional Korean elements such as the 12-stringed instrument a Gayageum.

Before that the Mayor of Pyeongchang Lee Seok-rae received the Olympic Flag from International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Sochi Mayor Anatoliy Pakhomov to mark the passing from one Olympic host to the next. 

The Olympic flag is passed to Pyeongchang mayor Lee Seok-rae ©Getty ImagesThe Olympic flag is passed to Pyeongchang mayor Lee Seok-rae ©Getty Images

But while the audience, slightly smaller than for the Opening Ceremony, but still enthusiastic and energetic throughout, cheered loudly at the performance of Pyeongchang, they shouted loudest during the medals presentation for the marathon cross country race earlier today - consisting of an all Russian podium headed by Alexander Legkov.

This message that athletes are the core of the Games permeated throughout and was recognised in the speech of IOC President Thomas Bach.

"You have shared your emotions with us and the whole world, you have celebrated victory with dignity and accepted defeat with dignity," he told the mass of Olympians present.

"By living together under one roof in the Olympic Village you send a strong message from Sochi to the world: the message of a society of peace, tolerance and respect.

"I appeal to everybody implicated in confrontation, oppression or violence," he added.

"Act on this Olympic message of dialogue and peace."

Bach also praised workers, volunteers, Russian President Vladimir Putin and everyone else who had contributed to the Games and said that: "tonight we can say: Russia delivered all what it had promised - what took decades in other parts of the world was achieved here in just seven years."

As tradition dictates he then declare the 22nd Olympic Winter Games closed and said:

"In accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in PyeongChang to celebrate with us the 23rd Olympic Winter Games."