Olympics Closing Ceremony 2018: Best Highlights, Moments You Might've Missed

Jacob Shafer@@jacobshaferFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2018

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25:  President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach and Mayor of Beijing Chen Jining participate in the Olympic flag handover ceremony 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 Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea concluded with the traditional closing ceremony Sunday at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.

It was, as usual, a colorful affair with its fair share of highlights celebrating the record 2,920 athletes who competed in these games.

We were treated to music, pageantry, appearances by world leaders and luminaries and the passing of the torch to Beijing, which will host the 2022 Games.

Here's a look at the most memorable moments, including some you might have missed.

                  

Yang Tae-Hwan Shreds on the Guitar

Florien Choblet/Associated Press

After a performance of the South Korean national anthem, 13-year-old Yang Tae-Hwan led a rendition of "Winter" from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons

Clad in a leather jacket, the young guitarist positively shredded and was joined by a collection of geomungos, a traditional Korean stringed instrument.

It was a unique and indelible sonic experience, with the teenage guitarist at its center.

BuzzFeed UK's Patrick Smith declared Tae-Hwan "the winner of the Winter Olympics." Even with all the medals that were handed out, it's tough to disagree.

           

Flags Appeared; 1 Flag Didn't

Athletes hold up their national flags during the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 25, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Martin BERNETTI        (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images
MARTIN BERNETTI/Getty Images

As in the opening ceremony, the parade of nations did not feature Russia's flag. The country was penalized by the International Olympic Committee over doping charges. During the games, Russian medal winners were honored under the Olympic flag instead.

By contrast, the North Korean flag did make an appearance as well as the South Korean flag, in place of the united flag the two countries marched under during the opening ceremony. 

The significance of the change is open to interpretation, but the overriding theme of the Games has been a thawing of relations between the nations.

                 

Ivanka Trump in Attendance

(From L) South Korean President Moon Jae-in, first lady Kim Jung-sook, US President's daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong applaud as athletes from North and South Korea walk together during the closing
PATRICK SEMANSKY/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, was in attendance alongside South Korea President Moon Jae-in and North Korean official Kim Yong-Chol.

There were political undertones, as there often are at the Olympics.

That said, the eldest Trump daughter clarified in an official statement that her main objective was "congratulating Team USA and celebrating all that our athletes have achieved."

                   

K-Pop Takes Center Stage

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25:  South Korean K-Pop singer CL performs 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 Mad
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Besides cultural traditions, the Olympics is also a chance for countries to showcase things that are big right now.

As such, no closing ceremony in South Korea would have been complete without a dose of K-pop. Before the Olympic anthem, K-pop star CL performed, drawing some of the most raucous reactions from the crowd.

Given her chosen songs were titled "The Baddest Female" and "I Am the Best", perhaps that should have come as no surprise.

Later, K-pop boy band EXO drew an equally large and appreciative response.

               

Your Turn, Beijing

Entertainers dressed as pandas perform during the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 25, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / WANG Zhao        (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)
WANG ZHAO/Getty Images

If you are of the opinion that no closing ceremony is complete without giant, well-lit, rollerblading pandas, this was the event for you.

The segment of the proceedings dedicated to handing off the Games to Beijing featured a dazzling light show, the unveiling of the 2022 logo and the aforementioned luminous Chinese mammals.

Will they make another appearance in four years? We can only wait and see.

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