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More than a week after the Sochi Winter Games opened or almost halfway through, the games organisers finally breached the 1 million mark for ticket sales, Olympic officials announced on Friday.
What helped boosted sales was the Russia vs Slovenia men's hockey team match on Thursday, attended by 106,000 fans who packed into Olympic Park. Russia won the game 5-2.
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Besides the hockey games, what draws sports fan in are the medal ceremonies after each event also held at the Olympic Park, particularly at the central plaza near the cauldron and flame. Over 500,000 fans have visited the place, said Dmitry Chernyshenko, chief executive of the Sochi Games organising committee.
However, a sports fan found the 1 million ticket sales not as a milestone but as an embarrassment. URU wrote in CTV News comment section: "It's rather embarrassing considering the population of that country is about 145 millions. That only shows no one there cares for the Olympics and its athletes no matter what country they are from. Look at the empty stadiums that's a true sign of the actual events. Only the athletes and their friends and family care for them. Besides it's a waste of tax payers money supporting an event that only makes a such athletes rich while the rest of the population is struggling."
However, poster Madranua called URU a sour grape.
But tweets about Sochi had breached the 9 million mark.
On Friday, Russia was shocked with the sudden retirement of figure skating champion Yevgeny Plushenko just when the men's super-combined ski even was to take place. Plushenko, who won two gold medals, quit from the men's short programme on Thursday due to a back injury.
Plushneko, 31, said, quoted by the Digital Journal, "Amateur sport is finished for me. Maybe not in the way that I wanted. But I leave with a gold medal, that is also great."
He was on a six-minute warm-up before the start of the event, which if he had won would make him the first man to get five Olympic figure skating medals. However, with two minutes and 25 seconds to go, he attempted a triple axel and stumbled and tried the jump again.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said, "Zhenya carried out the task at the Olympics. The task was to win the team competition and it was won. The health of the sportsman comes first. He has a serious back injury.
Here is Plushenko's final performance that earned him a gold medal.
With Plushenko's withdrawal, 19-year-old Japanese skater Yuzuru Hanyu set a new world record in the short programme with a 3.93-point lead against three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada.