The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics concluded last Sunday with an epic closing ceremony. Although there were fewer athletes than the opening event – as some Olympians had already gone home – the ceremony didn’t skimp on entertainment, K-pop, and expressions of hope and peace between the two Koreas.
Check out some of our highlights:
Politics gets awkward
Ivanka Trump was representing the US at the ceremony – with her father tweeting that “we cannot have a better, or smarter, person representing our country”. Quite like the awkward situation with Mike Pence at the ceremony, Ivanka found herself seated close to a controversial figure from the North Korean regime.
The mid-ceremony medal presentation
The women’s 30km cross-country skiing event had its medal presentation in the middle of the ceremony. Norway’s Marit Bjoregn, who, by the way – is the most successful Winter Olympian of all time – was presented with her eighth gold (and 15th medal overall) – in front of the largest possible television audience. It seemed the perfect way to celebrate her win.
Just like the opening, the closing ceremony had a real emphasis on youth. With a 13-year old guitarist putting on a show, and two small children holding the snow globes. Fun fact – they were both born on the day in July 2011 when Pyeongchang learned it would host the Games.
11-year-old boy, Oh Yeon-Joon who had won the South Korean version of ‘The Voice’ was entrusted to sing the Olympic anthem.
Tying the end of the ceremony together were the five children who had been the focus of the Opening Ceremony two weeks ago.
The flag handover from South Korea to China
The handover of the Olympic flag is always an iconic moment of the coming ceremony.
So the handover from Pyeongchang to Beijing was historic to watch – not just for geopolitical reasons, but with Tokyo hosting the summer games in 2020, it represents six years that the Olympics will be centred in Asia. Beijing will also become the first city to ever have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
China’s skating pandas
As Beijing will be the next host of the Winter Olympics – the city got to contribute to its own section of the show. It started with some amazing lit-up skating pandas. Just a small snippet of what is set to come from Beijing in 2022.
K-pop Royalty – EXO
K-pop band EXO performed at the closing ceremony – not to mention their army of fans had been dominating social media in the buildup of the ceremony, and within minute of it starting, managed to get #Olympics_EXO to be the number one trending Twitter hashtag worldwide. The boyband performed their huge hit ‘Power’, accompanied with a stunning fireworks display.
Still not over the fact that the Winter Olympics have come to a close? Check out our highlights of the opening ceremony.