Winter games close with a bang in South Korea

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2018 Winter Olympic Games - Closing Ceremony_300260

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 25: Fireworks explode behind the Olympic flame during the Closing Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The Pyeongchang Olympics have closed with a performance by popular boy band EXO.

The nine-member South Korean-Chinese group took the stage Sunday at the closing ceremony of the games.

One of the band’s biggest fans is Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva, who won the silver medal in women’s figure skating Friday. She wrote on Instagram that she had her “dreams come true” by meeting members of EXO.

The president of the International Olympic Committee has declared the Pyeongchang Games closed, marking the end of this year’s Winter Olympics.

Thomas Bach made the declaration during closing ceremonies held before tens of thousands on the eastern end of the Korean Peninsula. As part of the ceremony, the Winter Games were “handed off” to Beijing, which will host them in 2022 after staging the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Bach called Pyeongchang the “games of new horizons.”

These games were punctuated by unexpected diplomacy between the two estranged Koreas, North and South, that resulted in their fielding a joint Olympic team — a diplomatic accomplishment that could signal an enduring thaw between the rivals.

Officials from both North Korea and the United States, which wants the North to give up its nuclear weapons, attended both the closing and opening.

During the closing, the South Korean president’s office announced that a North Korean delegate had said Pyongyang is willing to hold talks with the U.S.

Bach handed off the Olympic flag to the mayor of Beijing, Chen Jining, symbolising the Winter Games’ journey over the next four years from Pyeongchang, South Korea, to the Chinese capital in 2022.

Beijing will be the first city to host both the summer and winter games. It hosted the summer edition in 2008.

The handover of the Olympic flag from one host city to the next was followed by a high-tech lightshow where illuminated giant pandas and dancers skated around the Olympic Stadium.Grab the FREE WDTN News App for iPhone or Android. Stay up to date with all the local news, weather and sports as well as live newscasts and events as they happen. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, weather and sports.

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