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21 February 2022, 09:22

Beijing Olympics closes with stunning ceremony

BEIJING, 21 February (BelTA) – The closing ceremony marked the end to the 24th Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium of the Chinese capital, BelTA has learned.

The closing ceremony was of a smaller scale than the opening one, because many athletes had already left Beijing. According to the rules of the organizing committee of the Games, it was recommended to leave the village within two days after the end of the competition.

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach thanked the organizing committee and all the Chinese people for the excellent organization of the Olympics and announced the closure of the winter edition of the Games.

The national flag of Belarus at the parade of athletes was carried by speed skater Ignat Golovatsiuk. At the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on 4 February, he was also the flag-bearer of the Belarusian Olympic team along with speed skater Hanna Nifantava. At the 2022 Olympic Games Belarus was represented by 27 athletes in six sports: biathlon, freestyle skiing, speed skating, figure skating, Alpine skiing and cross-country skiing. Belarus won two medals at the 2022 Beijing Games: biathlete Anton Smolski won silver in the Men's Individual race, and freestyle skier Hanna Huskova won silver in the Women's Aerials. Belarus ranked 24th in the medal standings.

It was the eighth Winter Games for Belarus in the country's sovereign history. Belarus debuted at the Lillehammer Games in Norway in 1994. At the previous Winter Olympics, held in Pyeongchang in 2018, South Korea, Belarus won two gold and one silver medals to finish 15th in the medal standings. Belarus' best result was the 8th place at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, when the Belarusian team won six medals - five golds and one bronze. In total, Belarus won 20 medals in the eight Winter Olympics - 8 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals. The winter season continues and soon the Belarusian freestyle skiers will be back in action. The next Aerials World Cup is set to take place in Yarosalvl, Russia on 26 February. The Belarusian biathletes are going from Beijing straight to the training camp in Ramsau, Austria, where they will get ready for the World Cup in Kontiolahti, Finland (scheduled for 3-6 March).

The 2022 Beijing Olympic Games featured 2,871 athletes from 91 countries. Athletes from Haiti and Saudi Arabia made their debut at the Winter Games. The Games included 109 medal events. Norway topped the medal table with 37 medals (16 gold, 8 silver and 13 bronze). Second was Germany with 27 medals (12, 10, 5). China was third with 15 medals (9, 4, 2). Russia won 32 medals (6, 12, 14) to place 9th. Medals were won by representatives of 29 countries. The competitions were held at 25 venues located in three clusters - Beijing, Zhangjiakou and Yanqing. For the first time, the Games featured the Mixed Team Aerials, Women's Freeski Slopestyle, Men's and Women's Snowboard Big Air, Short Track Mixed Relay and Women's Monobob. Beijing was the first city to host the Summer and Winter Olympics.

The Chinese capital passed the Winter Olympic Games baton to Italy's Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, which will host the 25th edition of the Games in 2026.

Photos by Andrei Pokumeiko

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