The venues were both striking and functional. The Russians made their fans happy, winning the medal count. The Americans didn't flame out.
Here's a look at some highlights and lowlights from the 2014 Winter Games that ended with Sunday night's closing ceremonies at Fisht Olympic Stadium:
Vladimir Putin. "He really put his stamp on this Olympics," said U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst. The Russian leader promised he'd pull them off safely and efficiently, and he did. So what if he spent $51 billion and alienated both the United States and the world's LGBT community?
Figure skating. The analog-era sport was already slipping in this digital age, its fans skewing older. The last thing it needed was another judging scandal. But Adelina Sotnikova's head-scratching, seemingly home-cooked victory -- five of the nine judges were from Russia and former Soviet-bloc nations -- validated all the old complaints about subjective scoring.
Best non-American athlete
Short-track speedskater Victor Ahn, who may be the first and only South Korean to defect to Russia. Ahn won three golds and a bronze for the host country. He did the same in Turin in 2006. "He's the greatest skater to ever skate," said Canadian skater Charle Cournoyer, who also skates.
Best American athlete
Mikaela Shiffrin. The 18-year-old's slalom win, punctuated by her miraculous recovery from a near-fall, was electric. Intelligent, attractive, and super-talented, the teenager should be America's next wintersports superstar.
Biggest non-American bust
The Russian hockey team. What a difference a week makes. Exalted on their Sochi arrival, they were run out of town after a premature elimination.
Biggest American bust (team)
The inaptly named speedskaters. Expected to match or surpass their Vancouver total of 10, they instead got just one, a silver in the 19th of 19 events.
Biggest American bust (individual)
Jeremy Abbott. In a wide-open men's figure-skating field, the U.S. champ fell from contention early when he checked himself hard into the boards during his short program. He ended the competition in 12th place.
Best American performance (team)
The Alpine skiers. They got golds from Shiffrin and Ted Ligety and won five overall medals, even with Bode Miller banged up and no Lindsey Vonn.
Most scorned athlete
Shaun White. The venom directed at the U.S. snowboard icon in this undisciplined discipline, often by U.S. teammates, was surprising. Some of that can be attributed to White's breakout success and his weaseling out of an event here. But the disrespect appeared to run deeper.
Most revealing performance
After winning Russia's first medal, speedskater Olga Graf unzipped her uniform to her waist. Nothing wrong with that, if you're wearing anything at all underneath. Graf wasn't. "I totally forgot," she said.
Extremely tough competition here. But I've got to go with Swedish slopestyle-ski judge Simon Tjern stroem explaining what gold-medalist Joss Christenson had done to impress him: "Switch right-side gap 270 on, pretzel 270 out on the down-flat-down; switch on, 450 out of the up rail, to left side 270 on, pretzel 270 off on the down; to a butter, switch slide to corked 450 off on the cannon feature. Then, left side double corked 1,260 double Japan on the first booter, to switch right side dub 1,080 tail grab, and a switch right side triple corked 1,260 Japan on the big booter."