Beijing 2022 officially closes with a breathtaking ceremony


Beijing, 20 February 2022 (TDI): The 2022 Winter Olympic Games drew the curtains closed at the Beijing National Stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, after 19 days of events across 15 different sports and under strict COVID-19 restrictions.

The Closing Ceremony marks the end of the global gathering, where China has passed the torch to the next host Milano-Cortina, to host the Olympics 2026 event in Italy.

The Closing Ceremony was directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Zhang Yimou, who also directed the Beijing 2008 ceremonies and the 2022 Opening Ceremony.

Due to Covid-19, very few fans attended the Closing Ceremony, including about 2,900 athletes from over 90 countries who attended the Winter Games.

Beijing made history

Beijing made history by being the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics Games. It not only hosted the Olympics but China enjoyed its most successful Games ever.

Highlights of the Closing Ceremony
Flag Raising

The Winter Olympics 2022 closing ceremony began with the People’s Liberation Army honor guards marching through the stadium to raise the Chinese flag while the country’s national anthem was playing in the background.

At the same time, the Chinese President Xi Jinping and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach entered the Bird’s Nest and were seated in their front-row seats. 

Lighting the emblem

Children dressed in white down jackets and carrying yellow snowflakes ran towards the center of the stadium for the opening performance called Lighting the Emblem in English.

In Chinese and French, it’s more poetically named “Illumination”. AI technology was used to create a Chinese tie, a symbol of traditional Chinese art.

Celebration of Unity

Twelve ice sleds in the shape of the twelve animals of the traditional Chinese calendar made rolling formations along with light projections of snowflakes and a traditional fortunate knot pattern. This performance resonated with the theme of unity in the Olympics.

Athletes Winter Olympics 2022
Athletes entering Closing Ceremony of Olympics 2022.
Athletes entering the stadium

Athletes entered the stadium at the same time while waving at their delegations’ flags, unlike the opening ceremony where delegations marched in sequence.

According to Olympic tradition, Greece led the athletes to symbolize the universal humanity in the Olympic movement. Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan clapped and waved as Chinese athletes entered the enter the Bird’s Nest stadium to the strains of Ode to Joy.

Bird’s Nest scene as a vibrant festival

The Bird’s Nest gave a scene of vibrant festivities, as uniforms from different delegations merged into a colorful tapestry, and athletes were seen taking selfies with one another while enthusiastically waving their delegations’ flags.

Some athletes took the opportunity to have fun at the closing ceremony. The Swiss and Austrian athletes were spotted holding hands and spinning around in a circle, while athletes from Great Britain were taking group photos.

France and Japan teams dancing at Beijing 2022
Teams of France and Japan Dancing at Beijing 2022
A video with thrilling moments displayed

A video was displayed to show thrilling moments of the past two weeks. Tension, speed, and determination were covered upon one another as moments of athletes’ grit and dedication were shared in the video.

Medal ceremony

Ending on a high note of athletes’ victories, the ceremony moved on to victory ceremonies. The last medals at the Beijing Olympics were awarded. Including this event, Bolshunov has won three golds and a bronze in Beijing.

Volunteers celebrated
Volunteers at Beijing 2022
Volunteers of Winter Olympics 2022

A video dedicated to volunteers was played around the Bird’s Nest stadium to celebrate their efforts. It started with scenes of volunteers working behind the scenes, displaying another side to the sporting display of Beijing 2022.

The video finished with a scene of volunteers waving goodbye to Bing Dwen Dwen, the hugely-popular mascot of these Games. The IOC President Thomas Bach was cheering at volunteers.

The member of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission, French biathlete Martin Fourcase, gave gifts of red Chinese lanterns, symbolizing light and service, as a gesture of thanks.

A farewell gesture

A performance took place revolving around the breaking of a willow twig. This is a gesture that symbolizes farewell in traditional Chinese culture. A Well-known tune Songbie, or Farewell, was also played as 365 performers carried glowing green branches and walked towards a circular formation in the center of the arena.

Flag handover ceremony
Lowering Olympics Flag at Closing Ceremony of Beijing 2022
Handing Over the Olympic Flag
Handing Over the Olympic Flag to Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala and Mayor of Cortina d’Ampezzo Gianpietro Ghedina.

The Olympic Flag was lowered, with the Malanhua’er Children’s Choir singing the Olympic Anthem. It was then handed over from the Mayor of Beijing to IOC president Thomas Bach, who then handed it to the Mayors of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, the hosts of Winter Games 2026.

The Italian mayors waved the flag while the entire stadium was standing for the Italian anthem, performed by violinist Giovanni Andrea Zanon and Milan-born pop singer Malika Ayane. A map of Italy was also projected making stunning scenes of the closing ceremony.

Games Chief thanked all involved

The IOC President Thomas Bach and Beijing Games Organizing Committee Chief, Cai Qi gave a note of thanks. The volunteers carried the flags of participating nations, walked in a line to the center of the Bird’s Nest to honor the Chief of IOC.

Cai thanked athletes, coaches, judges, journalists, health workers, volunteers, and everyone who supported the Games in his speech. “This unforgettable experience was only possible because of our gracious hosts, the Chinese people,” Bach shared, before declaring the 2022 Beijing Games closed.

IOC President speaking at Olympics 2022 closing ceremony
IOC President Thomas Bach speaking at Winter Olympics 2022 Closing Ceremony
Bach declared the Games closed

Bach marked the closure of the Games during the speech by praising the Chinese in organizing the Games, referring to the venues built for the Games. Bach said “congratulations to China” in the Chinese language, before announcing the end of the Beijing Games.

Good Bye Winter Olympics 2022

A video clip was displayed with the slogan for this Beijing Winter Olympics i.e Farewell! Together for a Shared Future. The audience waved goodbye to the camera as choral music was played.

The video ended with Songbie, or Farewell, a well-known tune in China, while a single snowflake was floating outside the Bird’s Nest.

A children’s choir sang You and Me, the theme song of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, to emphasize that Beijing is the first city to hold both the Summer and Winter Games.

The Olympic cauldron, a giant snowflake with a regular Olympic torch attached to its center, was lowered in the Bird’s Nest.

The smaller snowflakes that made up the larger ones were dimmed, and the torch at the center was the only part that was lit.

The torch was then extinguished and after a brief pause in the dark, the giant snowflake reappeared to symbolize that the “Olympic flame and the Olympic spirit will continue to spread in the name of ice and snow”

Finally, the Winter Olympics 2022 said a cheering ‘Good Bye’ with fireworks lighting up the night sky above the National Stadium in Beijing.

Beijing 2022 officially closes with a breathtaking ceremony
Closing Ceremony of Winter Olympics 2022