K-pop, drones, pandas and other highlights from the 2018 Olympics closing ceremony
The 2018 Olympic Games came to an end with a bang on Sunday morning after two weeks of competition in more than a dozen winter sports.
The closing ceremonies for what South Korea dubbed the “Peace Games” was packed with Korean culture, and even hinted at the chance for diplomatic talks to be held between North Korea and the United States.
Here are some of the highlights from the closing ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang:
K-pop on the world stage
K-pop is the Korean musical phenomenon that’s captivated people all around the world. Performing at the closing ceremonies were several notable K-pop artists, including former members of the band 2NE1, CL, and boy band EXO.
CL performed a musical number partially in English, the title of which translates directly to “The Baddest Female.” She released her first solo album, Lifted, in 2016.
EXO, made up of 12 South Korean and Chinese members, performed their hit song “Power” in one of the final sets of the evening.
Pyeongchang’s skating panda bears
These roller-skating panda bears quickly captured the hearts of those watching the closing ceremonies, with many posting their delight on social media. This was just one of the many ways the closing ceremony utilized light in creative ways.
Drones painted pictures in the sky
The audience was especially enthralled by the drones that flew in formation to create lit-up images in the sky. The drones moved gracefully to create images of Pyeongchang mascot Soohorang, and the iconic Olympic rings, as viewers marveled at the display.
A diplomatic seating arrangement
South Korea President Moon Jae-in greeted U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka before offering a brief handshake to North Korean delegation leader Kim Yong Chol. Moon hoped to use these Games as an opportunity to engage with North Korea.
Despite the cool body language, Moon’s efforts may be bearing fruit. South Korea’s presidential office said on Sunday that members of the North Korean delegation had expressed openness to talks with the United States.
Trump sat front and center, beside Moon’s wife, while North Korea’s Kim was seated a row behind, decked out in a long black jacket and furry hat. Sitting two seats along from him was General Vincent Brooks, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea.
Tonga’s flag-bearer returns in all his glory
Tongan flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua became a social media sensation after he graced the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics in Rio while shirtless and slick with oil. The internet waited with giddy anticipation to see whether Taufatofua would attend the opening ceremonies for the 2018 games in the same fashion.
Sure enough, The Tongan skier attended the opening and closing ceremonies just as glistening as ever, and even scored a photo-op with the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and veteran alpine athlete Lindsey Vonn.
Beijing 2022 takes a bow
IOC President Thomas Bach ended his speech during the ceremonies by calling upon the youth of the world to gather in Beijing in four years’ time for the 2022 Winter Games.
There’s been significant speculation about how Beijing would host the winter games in the absence of typical winter weather.
Reports so far indicate that the city will rely entirely on artificial snow and ice — a tactic which was also utilized in Sochi in 2014.
Fireworks lit up the sky
The ceremony concluded the same way it began, with a dazzling fireworks display.
— With a file from Reuters
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