Pyeongchang Olympics Come to a Close

  • By Jun Hyun-suk, Seok Nam-jun

    February 26, 2018 09:38

    The Olympic flame went out in Pyeongchang on Sunday night as the 17-day Winter Olympics came to a close.

    The winter sports festival attracted about a million spectators to the alpine city since it opened on Feb. 9 and ended with a promise to meet again in Beijing in four years. It was the biggest winter Olympics in history with 2,920 athletes from 92 countries competing for 102 gold medals. Neither gale-force winds nor severe cold prevented them from giving their best.

    Fireworks explode over the main stadium of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang at the end of the event's closing ceremony on Sunday. /Yonhap

    Korea finished seventh overall with five gold, eight silver, and four bronze medals. Although it failed to achieve its goal of ending in fourth place, Korea expanded its horizons in winter sports and laid the groundwork for further growth thanks to athletes' stellar performance in the sledding, snowboarding and curling events.

    Norway won the most medals for the second time after the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

    South and North Korean athletes enter the main stadium of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang at the closing ceremony on Sunday.

    At the closing ceremony, President Moon Jae-in shook hands with guests including Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, while first lady Kim Jung-sook sat beside U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka. In the back row sat Kim Yong-chol, the head of North Korea's United Front Department.

    No major incidents disrupted the Olympics, which were also relatively clean with only two athletes testing positive for doping.

    Highlights included the formation of the unified Korean women's ice-hockey team, and South and North Korean athletes marching together during the opening ceremony delivered a powerful message of peace to the whole world, Bach said.

    The closing ceremony was a gala show mixing traditional Korean and modern arts, with K-pop boy band EXO and singer CL giving cheerful performances. The finale swelled to a spectacular dance music performance.

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