Breaking from the tradition of awarding the Olympics only to a single host city, the IOC is opening the door to possible wider bids, including bids from an entire country, joint bids from more than one city and even the possibility of events held in more than one country.
Sochi`s $50 billion Olympics, closely interwoven with President Vladimir Putin`s image and plagued by controversy in the build-up, closed on Sunday with bold praise and Russia supreme on top of the medals table.
Russian organisers of the Winter Games made a light-hearted joke at their own expense on Sunday when, at the closing ceremony, they referred back to the moment during the opening ceremony when one of the five Olympic rings failed to unfurl.
Norway held their lead at the top of the medals table on Saturday as the Sochi Olympics entered the final weekend, and Russia said its first Winter Games had helped "break the ice" of scepticism towards the host nation.
Germany had set out to equal their Vancouver 2010 performance and finish in the top three in the medals table at the Sochi Olympics but with two days of competition left, team chief Michael Vesper admitted they had failed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be everywhere at the Sochi Olympics these days, whether it is the competition venues, team headquarters or even posing for pictures with sports fans and volunteers.
The unfurling ceremony attended by a motley group of Indian squad, Indian Olympic Association`s newly-elected President N Ramachandran and other invitees marked the successful return of India to the Olympic fold.
Poland`s Kamil Stoch won his second ski jumping gold of the Olympics when he triumphed on the large hill Saturday to deny Japan`s Noriaki Kasai the chance to become the oldest ever Winter Games champion
The gold, silver and bronze medals in Sochi are not the only glittering prizes on offer. For avid collectors, pins specially made for each Games offer a great opportunity to meet, trade and build bridges between cultures.
Russia meets the United States in men`s ice hockey at the Winter Olympics on Saturday in a clash redolent of rivalries past, while the American speed skating team are hoping a change of suits brings a change in fortunes.