Pyeongchang Games Are Closed

Olympic flag has passed to Beijing after a very political Winter Olympics
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2018 7:25 AM CST
Curtain Goes Down on Pyeongchang
Thomas Bach, left, president of the International Olympic Committee hands the Olympic flag to Chen Jining, mayor of Beijing, the next host city for the Winter Olympics.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The president of the International Olympic Committee has declared the Pyeongchang Games closed, reports the AP, marking the end of this year's Winter Olympics. Thomas Bach made the declaration during closing ceremonies held before tens of thousands on the eastern end of the Korean Peninsula. As part of the ceremony, the Winter Games were "handed off" to Beijing, which will host them in 2022 after staging the 2008 Summer Olympics. Bach called Pyeongchang the "games of new horizons."

Bach gave the Olympic flag to the mayor of Beijing, Chen Jining, symbolizing the Winter Games' journey over the next four years from Pyeongchang to the Chinese capital in 2022. Beijing will be the first city to host both the summer and winter games. It hosted the summer edition in 2008. The handover of the Olympic flag from one host city to the next was followed by a high-tech lightshow where illuminated giant pandas and dancers skated around the Olympic Stadium. The final medal count saw Norway skate away on top, with 39 medals, reports the New York Times; the United States finished fourth, behind Germany and Canada, with 23. During the closing, the South Korean president's office announced that a North Korean delegate had said Pyongyang is willing to hold talks with the US. (More 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics stories.)

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