Spectacular PyeongChang 2018 Closing Ceremony Expresses Commitment to Peace

The Olympic cauldron glows as fireworks light up the night sky over PyeongChang

The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 closed yesterday following 17 tumultous and exciting days of events. The Closing Ceremony was held at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, with athletes from the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea once again marching together into the arena.

At the beginning of the Ceremony, images of Winter Olympic sports and athletes performing on the Olympic snow and ice were projected onto the stage using zoetrope animation.

Rock band Jambinai perform with a mix of Korean and western instruments
13-year-old guitarist Yang Tae-hwan performs excerpts from Vivaldi's Four Seasons

There followed a blend of rock music performed by a 13 year-old guitarist and a traditional dance routine performed by a solo dancer, the combination sending a subtle message of harmony and convergence. After memorable moments of the PyeongChang Games were replayed on the giant screens, athletes from all the participating countries filed slowly into the stadium in the now traditional festive spirit.

Flag-bearers from each of the participating nations assemble in a circle
Representatives of the PyeongChang volunteer community are acclaimed by the crowd
IOC President Thomas Bach after receiving the Olympic flag from PyeongChang mayor Sim Jae Guk
IOC President Thomas Bach hands the Olympic flag to Beijing mayor Chen Jining

Towards the end of the Ceremony, IOC President Mr. Thomas Bach, Mayor of PyeongChang Mr. Sim Jae-kook and Beijing Mayor Mr. Chen Jining ascended the stage to conduct the official Olympic flag handover, with PyeongChang symbolically passing the flag to Beijing via the IOC President. During President Bach's speech, several athletes, including the topless and barefooted Pita Taufatofua from Tonga and Japan's speed skating gold medallist Nao Kodaira—who famously skated a compassionate lap of honour with the Korean favourite she defeated in the 500 meter speed skating final—were welcomed onto the stage.

The city of Beijing then put its stamp on the handover ceremony with a dazzling display of formation roller skating by 24 performers, each representing a past edition of the Winter Olympic Games. Beijing will be the first ever city to host both a Summer and a Winter Olympic Games. The message from the 2022 host city – a composite display of good wishes from over 60 million Chinese via social networks – read “See You in Beijing in 2022”.

Beijing 2022 dancers on roller-skates weave patterns depicting the strands of love and friendship
The Beijing 2022 Welcome Show continues
IOC President Thomas Bach with athletes including Tonga's Pita Taufatofua and Japan's Nao Kodaira
The cauldron after the extinguishing of the Olympic flame

The five children who performed at the Opening Ceremony then appeared on stage once again and unveiled a Snow Globe featuring the beautiful winter landscape of PyeongChang. The Olympic Flame that burned throughout the Games was then gently extinguished.

The second part of this amazing global sporting spectacle – the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games – will take place from 9 to18 March.