Irene Schouten carries Dutch flag at Beijing Winter Games closing ceremony
The closing ceremony of the 24th edition of the Winter Games started on Sunday at 1 p.m. Dutch time, bringing an end to the event that started 16 days earlier, also in Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium.
The ceremony lasted only an hour and a half. Long track speed skater Irene Schouten, who won three gold medals this year, carried the Dutch flag into the stadium. The skater won gold in Beijing in the 3000 meters, 5000 meters and the mass start.
"It was fun and special to experience,” Schouten told the NOS. “You were allowed to wave the flag for a while, and then to the group."
Many of the Dutch team athletes had already gone home and missed the closing ceremony. In the short ceremony, the winners of the last cross-country skiing competitions were awarded their medals. A total of 109 medal events were scheduled for these Games, compared to 102 at the previous Winter Games, of which the Netherlands won eight.
Those present in the Beijing National Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies of the Summer Games also took place in 2008, saw a show with light effects in the run-up to the extinguishing of the flame. Highlights from the past two weeks were also shown, including the Dutch winning women's relay team in the short track.
The ceremony ended with a large and impressive fireworks display. The words “one world, one family,” could be read in the air.
Reporting by ANP.