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Pyeongchang farewells Winter Olympics with stunning closing ceremony

The Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games were given a festive and joyous send-off, as the strains of K-pop helped provide the soundtrack for a closing ceremony attended by the likes of Ivanka Trump.

A spectacular light show gave the backdrop to a breathtaking closing ceremony, a fitting end to 16 days of competition on the snow and ice.

Flagbearers from the competing nations, such as Australian silver medallist Jarryd Hughes, were the first athletes to enter Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, before their teammates took centrestage as part of the traditional parade.

Athletes from South and North Korea marched together, as they did in the opening ceremony.

South and North Korean athletes wave flags at the Olympic Winter Games closing ceremony.

Traditional components of closing ceremonies were observed, such as the handing over of the Olympic flag to the 2022 host city Beijing and singing of the official anthem.

But organisers successfully provided a Korean flavour to the evening, with performances from K-pop stars EXO and CL part of a musical spectacular.

Singer CL performs during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Among the invited guests was Ms Trump, who sat in front of the vice-chairman of North Korea's ruling Worker's Party Central Committee, Kim Yong Chol. They did not appear to interact during the ceremony.

American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, who marched in the closing ceremony, took to Twitter to question why Ms Trump was attending.

"Everybody here has worked so hard to make it to the Olympics and have the opportunity to walk in the closing ceremony! Well… Everyone except Ivanka," Kenworthy tweeted.

Ivanka Trump smiling while in attendance at the Olympic Winter Games closing ceremony.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach praised the athletes from South and North Korea for marching together, as he believed it showed they were both committed to "a peaceful future".

Bach said the athletes from the two countries showed sport brought people together and built bridges, outlining the IOC would "continue this Olympic dialogue" after the Games.

He thanked South Korea as hosts for "showing us new horizons" as he declared the Games closed, while reserving a heartfelt congratulations for the thousands of volunteers.

"I say a special thank you for warming our hearts event at the coldest temperatures," Bach said.

An aerial photo of the closing ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games.

Australia finished 23rd on the medal tally, with the two silvers won by Hughes (snowboard cross) and Matt Graham (moguls), and Scotty James' bronze in the snowboard halfpipe.

Norway led the tally with 14 gold and silver medals, as well as 11 bronze.

Germany matched the Norwegians with 14 gold, while host nation South Korea topped the podium on five occasions as part of a 17-medal haul.

ABC/AP

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