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SOCHI, Russia - The Sochi Olympics might have gotten off to a rocky start, with unfinished hotels, a bobsledder getting locked in his room and that embarrassing Olympic rings glitch at the opening ceremony.

Once the games actually began, though, Sochi redeemed itself with compelling events and fantastic finishes. And, of course, puppies.

UNFORGETTABLE: The top 14 moments from Sochi

MEDAL COUNT: U.S. finishes near the top

From Mikaela Shiffrin's first medal to Bode Miller's last, from the U.S. hockey team's triumph over Russia to its collapse in the bronze-medal game, from Shaun White's disappearance to Sage Kostenburg's emergence, from Meryl Davis and Charlie White's historic gold medal to Adelina Sotnikova's controversial one, the Sochi Games provided memories to carry us through the next four years.

Here's a look back at the 17 days of the games, in the words of the people who played them:

"It feels like we played this tournament for nothing." — U.S. center Paul Stastny after a 5-0 loss in the bronze-medal game.

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"So right now I'm dreaming of the next Olympics, winning five gold medals. Which sounds really crazy. Sorry I just admitted that to you all." — Shiffrin, who at 18 became the youngest skier to win the Olympic women's slalom.

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"If anyone has another 62-year drought they need to break, let me know. I'll try to help you." — bobsled pilot Steve Holcomb who ended a 62-year U.S. medal drought in two-man, four years after ending a 62-year gold-medal drought in four-man.

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"I'm pretty surprised I won, honestly." — Sage Kotsenburg, first Olympic champion in snowboard slopestyle.

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"I'm not really upset about it. … I just think people around me are more upset than I am." — Yuna Kim, silver medalist in women's figure skating, on the controversy surrounding Adelina Sotnikova's upset victory against Kim, the 2010 Olympic champion.

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"A lot of girls like Olympians and puppies, which is overwhelming." — slopestyle silver medalist Gus Kenworthy on the response to his adoption of four puppies and their mother.

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"Emotionally, I had a lot riding on it. Even though I didn't ski my best — a lot of mistakes — I'm just super, super happy." — Bode Miller, 36, after winning a bronze medal in super-G, his sixth career medal, a record for U.S. skiers and a record for oldest alpine skier to win an Olympic medal.

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"Yes. Just with my looks, I could have won." — Olympic halfpipe champion Iouri Podladtchikov on whether he could have won — and beat Shaun White — without YOLO, his signature move.

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"Hopefully America will forgive me."Elana Meyers after she and Lauryn Williams lost a near-certain Olympic gold in women's bobsled on their final run.

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"Any time you're that close and you can taste it and you don't come down with the result, it hurts a little bit." — Meyers.

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"It is a little dangerous. I saw more people fall today than I have all season. It's just dangerous because it's crappy, you know?" — American snowboarder Hannah Teter on the much-maligned halfpipe.

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"Twenty-six years ago, I played my first national team game and it's been a great journey so far and this is a great ending." — bronze medal winner Teemu Selanne of Finland.

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"The Games are not over yet. We're just halfway through." — Patrick Riml, U.S. ski team alpine director, asked after five events (and only one U.S. medal) to assess the team's performance. The U.S. skiers won four medals in the next five races.

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"I want all the gold that there is out there, everything that exists in figure skating. In all events, in all competitions." — Adelina Sotnikova, gold medalist in women's figure skating.

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"We had known each other casually before we skated together. As casually as 8-year-olds can know each other. We had the casual playdate every once in a while. — Meryl Davis on the beginning of her long partnership with Charlie White, which resulted in the first Olympic gold in ice dance for the U.S.

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"We weren't the only national team that got smoked by the Netherlands." — USOC CEO Scott Blackmun summing up both the U.S. struggles in speed skating and the dominance of the Dutch, who won 21 of the 30 individual medals.

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"This is not how I wanted to end my career. I am very disappointed. But I tried to do my best." — Two-time Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko after a back injury forced him to withdraw from the men's competition before the short program.

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PHOTOS: The 15 best celebrations

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