Photos: Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony | Gallery News

The Olympic flame has gone out in Beijing, marking the end of the most confined Games in history.

It was the second pandemic Olympics in more than two years since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who officially closed the Games at the Bird’s Nest Stadium, praised China and thanked the country’s people for staging the Games safely.

Participants were confined to a COVID-secure bubble where they took daily tests, wore masks and observed strict protocols.

It “breaks our hearts” that some athletes were unable to attend due to the pandemic, Bach said.

The President of the International Olympic Committee and the Mayor of Beijing presented the Olympic flag to the mayors of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy, which will host the 2026 Winter Games.

This is the first time that two cities have officially hosted the Olympics together. Cortina hosted the games in 1956. This will be the third Winter Games in Italy – Turin in 2006.

After three consecutive Olympics held in Asia – Pyeongchang, Tokyo and now Beijing – the Games are heading west for the foreseeable future, with no chance of returning until at least 2030.

The next Olympics will be the Summer Games in Paris in 2024.

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