SOCHI, Russia (AP) — With the pressure off and no medals at stake, it was time for the Olympic figure skaters to have some fun.
Before a packed house Saturday night at the Iceberg Skating Palace, where so much history was made during the Sochi Games, the loudest cheers, naturally, went to the Russian stars during the gala exhibition that closed this Olympics' figure skating competition.
When pairs champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took the ice at the end of the 2½-hour show, now familiar chants of "Ro-ssi-ya" filled the arena.
Then all the individual gold medalists — Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu and Russia's Adelina Sotnikova — were joined by Canada's silver medalist, Patrick Chan, who saluted the games and the crowd.
Speaking to the audience in English and French, Chan called the Olympics "wonderful, extraordinary opportunities we have enjoyed so much at these Winter Games here in Sochi."
"Thank you for the great memories," he said, using the Sochi Games' slogan — "Hot. Cool. Yours." — before adding, "now us."
As a final salute, all the skaters gathered at center ice and South Korea's Yuna Kim burst out of the pack in a solo spotlight. The others pointed to her as the 2010 Olympic champion and this year's silver medalist, who announced her retirement Thursday night, waved goodbye.
The skaters borrowed plenty from Broadway and from the movies during the exhibition. Chinese pair Pang Qing and Tong Jian performed flowingly to the mournful "I Dreamed A Dream" from "Les Miserables." French ice dancers Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat used opening moves directly from the film "Dirty Dancing" in their routine to "Time of My Life."
U.S. champion Gracie Gold even had her own personalized introduction to her performance to "All That Jazz" from the Oscar-winning "Chicago" soundtrack.
Canada's Dylan Moscovitch got a comical scolding from partner Kirsten Moore-Towers for letting his pretend cell phone interrupt their performance a half-dozen times.