SOCHI, Russia – The world's athletes and visitors are rolling toward Sochi's airport and taking off for home. They're fresh from a Winter Games experience that many Russians pronounce a smashing success and that the head of the Olympic movement enthusiastically labels a victory for the region and the host nation.
After 17 days of global sport and spotlight, Sochi is starting to clean up.
It's predicted to be the heaviest Olympic-related travel day, but travelers through the region's airport are reporting briskly moving security lines and check-in times of anywhere from 10 minutes to three hours.
Olympic Park has cleared out except for volunteers in multicolored patchwork jackets. Most security barriers remain in place in anticipation of the Paralympic Games, but security is noticeably more relaxed.