PyeongChang 2018 comes to an end
Published 25 February 2018 (AEDT)
PYEONGCHANG 2018: The Olympic Flame was extinguished at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on Sunday night, bringing the 2018 Winter Games to an end.
As temperatures hovered around minus 4 degrees, an audience of 35,000 gathered to reflect on 17 action packed days and record-breaking performances by more than 3,000 athletes from 92 teams around the world.
Silver Olympic medallist Jarryd Hughes was beaming with pride as he carried the Australian flag into the stadium during the Parade of Athletes.
"It was a surreal experience getting to carry the flag," he said.
"It was just a great cherry on top to a great Olympics and I think that South Korea have done an amazing job.
"It's a lot looser than the Opening Ceremony, so it's good just to end on this note ... it's definitely a great final ending to a four year cycle and it's been great but right now it's about time to start back on the next four years and Beijing 2022 here we come."
Walking ahead of his teammates, the 22-year-old said that the highlight of the night was when "everyone rushed to me, got in and had a big team group moment".
"I think that sums up the entire Australian Olympic Team here, it's just been a big family," he said.
"[It's] the best Team ever, just because of the atmopshere it was just such a great Team and I don't think I've ever seen anything like this and I think we do have to credit the bobsleigh boys [for that], they have been the heart and soul of this team.
"It has been amazing having them around and just enjoying it, they've kept it super light and I think all the credit is to go to them."
As one would expect, there was plenty of K-Pop during the evening with singer CL (Lee Chae-rin) belting out 'The Baddest Female' with 20 dancers and group EXO performing, entering the arena on chrome-plated four wheelers.
President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, said that regardless of the Flame's extinguishment, "what will continue to shine are those magnificant moments we have experienced here in PyeongChang, especially the exceptional performances of the world's best winter sports athletes".
"Throughout the Games, they have astounded us with their achievements, and inspired us by competing in the Olympic spirit of excellence, respect and fair play," he said.
"Over the last 17 days, the PyeongChang Games have brought people together, shwoing the world the unifying power of sport. PyueongChang 2018 will remain as a moment for everyone to shine."
The Republic of Korea's President, Moon Jae-In, said that the Winter Games had "been a step bringing us closer to realising peace", adding that he hoped the last 17 days "will be remembered as a bright legacy in the lives of all of us as well as part of Olympic history".
"The Olympic Games gave athletes from South Korea and North Korea an opportunity to become friends who lit each other's birthday candles," he said.
"On the cold snow and ice, we have felt a warm glow in our hearts. All the athletes and spectators gathering together and sharing warmth of the moments will be remembered fondly by everyone around the world.
"And I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has made the Olympic Winter Games here at PyeongChang a platform for and a celebration of peace."
Next up: Beijing 2022.
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