Winter Olympics 2022: Highlights from the closing ceremony in Beijing

How Hwee Young/EPA

In the final night (ET) of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Jessie Diggins earned silver in the 30km cross-country race -- her third Olympic medal overall.

Mikaela Shiffrin, River Radamus, Paula Moltzan and Tommy Ford ended up just off the podium in the mixed team alpine event in a down-to-the-wire finish in tough conditions. Finland won its first Olympic hockey gold medal, and Germany dominated in the four-man bobsled.

Winter Olympics schedule | Medal tracker

The Beijing Games officially wrapped up on Sunday morning (7 a.m. ET) with the closing ceremony. Here are all the highlights:

Scenes from the closing ceremony

On Feb. 4 at the opening ceremonies, there was an air of conflicting emotion as the second pandemic-era Olympics began in Beijing. But at the closing ceremony, the overwhelming emotions that emanated through the TV screen were of happiness and relief. (Of 66,937 coronavirus tests administered in the Olympic bubble on Saturday, only one came back positive, the authorities reported.)

USA's flag-bearer, Elana Meyers Taylor, walked into Beijing's National Stadium along with other flag-bearers from participating countries. Then, the Olympic athletes, masked, walked in the Parade of Nations, some with their country's flags, others with the names of the countries written on their hats.

China President Xi Jinping and Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, were present and sat distanced at a table watching the parade and festivities.

An elated Jessie Diggins of Team USA received her women's 50m cross-country silver medal during the closing ceremony, pumping her fists in happiness.

After several performances and medal ceremonies, Bach gave a speech about unity and peace, officially declaring the Winter Games closed.

Now we look ahead to the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy. -- Aishwarya Kumar

Zhou ruled out again

U.S. figure skater Vincent Zhou, according to an Instagram post, said he was not allowed to participate in the closing ceremony despite testing negative "14 times in a row" and being cleared to skate in the gala earlier in the day.

"I won't be marching in the closing ceremony tonight," Zhou's Instagram story read. "Before boarding the bus to the stadium, they flagged me as a COVID "close contact" risk and would not allow me to proceed further."

Zhou added that he had antibodies, would be double masked and marching with the same athletes he would be traveling back to the U.S. with a few hours after the ceremony.

"I was required to take my mask off when taking the ice for the gala earlier today with 40 other people who were also maskless, indoors." Zhou wrote. "But it seems that being double masked outdoors is riskier."

Zhou tested positive to COVID-19 a day before the men's figure skating event, and withdrew, posting an emotional video on social media that he was heartbroken to not be able to compete after all his efforts to stay healthy and work hard to get to Beijing. -- Kumar

Diggins wins final U.S. Olympic medal

Diggins -- a gold medalist in 2018 in team sprint -- ended the Olympics in style for Team USA, earning silver in the 30k. It's the last Olympic medal the U.S. will win at these Games, and it gives Diggins the full complement of gold, silver and bronze in her Olympic career. (Earlier in Beijing, she placed third in the individual sprint.) She was already the most decorated American cross-country skier in history.

After the race, she revealed that she'd had food poisoning only 30 hours before, and her legs were cramping for the last 17km. "I don't know how I made it to the finish," she said.

Therese Johaug of Norway comfortably won gold with a time of 1:24:54.0, with Diggins finishing less than two minutes behind at 1:26:37.3.

The bronze medal, though, was a fight until the very end. Ebba Andersson (Sweden) was in third for much of the race, but fell to eighth in the final moments. Kerttu Niskanen of Finland ended up with the bronze, and American Rosie Brennan -- who also made a push for bronze -- finished sixth. -- Amy Van Deusen

Shiffrin and Team USA finish fourth

Mikaela Shiffrin's hopes for an Olympic medal at the 2022 Games were dashed Saturday night (ET) as Team USA missed out on bronze to Norway in the mixed team parallel event.

Shiffrin skied four clean races in each of the rounds, winning against Slovakia's Rebeka Jancova and narrowly losing the other three on the slower red course.

During the individual races at the Olympics, Shiffrin recorded a rare "Did Not Finish" during the slalom, grand slalom and in the combined event. She finished in ninth place in the super-G and 18th in the downhill.

The team competition, which pits a skier from each country in a head-to-head slalom race, made its Olympic debut in 2018. The event was originally scheduled to take place on Friday night (ET) but was delayed multiple times due to the dangerous weather conditions before eventually being rescheduled to Sunday.

Austria won the gold medal and Germany earned the silver. Switzerland, the defending gold medalists, was eliminated in the quarterfinals. -- D'Arcy Maine

History-making night for Finland

Finland won its first Olympic men's ice hockey gold medal with a 2-1 victory over the Russian Olympic Committee team -- with Finland forward Hannes Bjorninen scoring the winning goal just 31 seconds into the third period. He added an assist on Ville Pokka's goal in the second period that tied the game after the ROC opened the scoring in the first period.

This was the 18th Olympic men's ice hockey tournament appearance for Finland. The nation won silver in 1988 and 2006, and captured bronze four times (1994, 1998, 2010, 2014).

"Great team. Great effort. It wasn't easy for us, but we found a way to win every game," said forward Marko Anttila, whose team was undefeated in Beijing. "We found a way to win these tough games." -- Greg Wyshynski

Germany reigns supreme in bobsled

Germany concluded its reign of bobsled dominance on the final day of competition with a 1-2 finish in the four-man event. The sled piloted by Francesco Friedrich earned the gold, with Johannes Lochner's sled earning the silver.

Canada took the bronze, narrowly holding off a third German team and preventing the podium sweep. The country won seven of the 12 total bobsled medals in Beijing.

Jamaica, the beloved global favorites, did not qualify for the fourth and final run, and finished in 28th place out of 28 teams. They paid homage to "Cool Runnings" after their final run by kissing a lucky egg, as the Jamaican team did in the movie. -- D'Arcy Maine

Gold Britain

Eve Muirhead led Great Britain to the Olympic women's curling gold medal -- the first for the sport's homeland since 2002 -- pulling away with a four-ender in the seventh on Sunday for a record-setting 10-3 victory over Japan.

One day after the British men took silver, losing to Sweden in the final, the women picked up two points in the first end and controlled the scoreboard from there. They essentially clinched it in the seventh after Japanese skip Satsuki Fujisawa failed to keep her last stone in the scoring area.

The Brits win their first medal since 2014, when they won the bronze -- and it is the nation's third women's curling medal overall.