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The Winter Olympics came to an end after a spectacular ceremony featuring a parade of athletes.
The Olympic flame of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which had been lit in the National Stadium for 16 days, was extinguished on Sunday at the closing ceremony, with a children's choir singing in the background.
Meanwhile, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, declared the Winter Olympics closed on Sunday.
"And now, I must mark the end of this unforgettable Olympic experience, I declare the Winter Games of the 24th Olympiad in Beijing 2022 closed," said Thomas Bach a few minutes before the Olympic cauldron was extinguished.
"The Olympic spirit was only able to shine so brightly because the Chinese people prepared the stage so excellently and safely," said the IOC chief.
China, as host, won a record 15 medals in total, including nine gold. They came third in the medal table behind Norway, who set a new all-time record by winning 16 golds, and Germany, who dominated the sliding competitions to bag 12 golds.
A total of 2,871 athletes took part in the 2022 Winter Games and more than 2,000 of them attended the closing ceremony. The chief director of the ceremony, Zhang Yimou, called the closing event a "great celebration" for the athletes.
The ceremony featured the participating athlete delegations in an event of lights and spectacular acrobatics, as well as colourful choreography relating to the theme of the games and the host country, China.
At the time, Cai Qi, chairman of the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee (BOCOG), said the Olympics are destined to make history as the 16-day event draws to a close.
"Over the past 16 days, you (the media) have covered the Games comprehensively despite the inconveniences caused by Covid-19."
"In doing so, you have helped us present to the whole world a Winter Olympics that is destined to make history," Cai said at a press conference via video link at the Main Media Centre.
"The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games are truly fantastic, extraordinary and excellent," Cai said.
Despite the success of the Games, it was not short of critism and attempts to discredit from the West.
The Western powers tried and failed to discredit the Beijing Winter Olympics. In fact the Games were a runaway success, symbolizing peace, international friendship and solidarity. They were also the greenest Olympics in history and a model of Covid management. pic.twitter.com/Rgsi6kGFbC
According to the spokesperson, "there has been an excellent Winter Olympic atmosphere and Beijing has shown unique charm as the first city in history to have hosted both Summer Olympic Games and Winter Olympic Games".
Under the theme "Together for a shared future", Beijing 2022 has promoted the Olympic spirit, strengthened communication and understanding through sport, which is a universal language, and provided a stage for exchanges and mutual learning between different cultures, Cai said.
"In just 12 days, the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will open. We will continue to do our utmost to prepare for the Paralympic Winter Games and ensure that the two Games have the same splendour," Cai concluded, before wishing great success to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina, Italy.
The next Winter Games will be held in Italy, jointly in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, in 2026 (6-22 February), while the Olympic flame will be lit again for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.