Beijing, 20 February 2022 (dpa/MIA) — The Olympic flame in the Bird’s Nest Stadium was extinguished a few minutes after IOC president Thomas Bach declared the 24th Winter Games in Beijing closed.
A closing ceremony themed ‘One World, One Family’ brought to an end 17 days of sports action at a Games held amid both the coronavirus pandemic and disputes over the human rights record of the host.
Chinese President Xi Jinping was among the dignitaries in attendance but many western nations have staged a diplomatic boycott of the Games citing China’s human rights issues. There was also a shadow cast by the potential for conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Bach nonetheless told the athletes: “You overcame these divisions showing in this community we are equal.
“May the political leaders around the world be inspired by your example of solidarity and peace,” he added, also calling on the international community to “give equal access to [coronavirus] vaccines for everybody around the world.”