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PHOTOS: Memorable Moments From The Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games

Siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani of the United States compete in figure skating's ice dance free program on Feb. 20. The pair nabbed bronze.
Richard Heathcote
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Getty Images
Siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani of the United States compete in figure skating's ice dance free program on Feb. 20. The pair nabbed bronze.

The 2018 Winter Olympics ended Sunday evening in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a closing ceremony featuring fireworks, K-pop performances, the reappearance of Tongan cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua sans shirt, and a dance party that brought athletes onstage, eager to let loose and celebrate their games.

Norway is taking home the most Winter Olympic medals this year, 39 total — 14 of them gold. The U.S. came in fourth in the medal count, winning 23 — its lowest number of medals since 1998, when it won just 13. (The gold medal count has stayed consistent at nine since 2006.) Host South Korea won 17, and its athletes took part in a joint North-South women's ice hockey team.

The games delivered late, unexpected curling victories for the U.S. men (gold) and South Korea's women (silver). The U.S. women's ice hockey team, too, scored a historic win against longtime gold medalist Canada.

As doping violations continued to dog the Russians, its doubles curling team forfeited a bronze medal when one member failed a drug test. Frigid winds disrupted some events and caused others to be rescheduled. There were a few tiffs and episodes of poor sportsmanship. But these were not the games' defining moments.

Throughout it all, there were the athletes, nearly 3,000 of them from 92 countries, embracing the Olympic spirit — and, win or lose, doing their best in sports they love. Here's a look at some of the highlights.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Fans wear Olympic ring glasses during a medal ceremony on Feb. 18. The medals were given out in nightly ceremonies, so winners were given stuffed tigers right after their victories.
Richard Heathcote / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Fans wear Olympic ring glasses during a medal ceremony on Feb. 18. The medals were given out in nightly ceremonies, so winners were given stuffed tigers right after their victories.
The opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games included a musical performance surrounded by an image of a dove, matching the program's peace theme.
Richard Heathcote / Getty Images
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Getty Images
The opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games included a musical performance surrounded by an image of a dove, matching the program's peace theme.
U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon made his Olympic debut on Feb. 12 as part of the team competition. He won a bronze medal in that event, while becoming a fan and media favorite.
Jamie Squire / Getty Images
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Getty Images
U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon made his Olympic debut on Feb. 12 as part of the team competition. He won a bronze medal in that event, while becoming a fan and media favorite.
Nigerian bobsledder Akuoma Omeoga (second left) embraces teammate Aminat Odunbaku (second right) during the women's bobsled heats on Feb. 21.
Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Nigerian bobsledder Akuoma Omeoga (second left) embraces teammate Aminat Odunbaku (second right) during the women's bobsled heats on Feb. 21.
Olympic workers take cover from extreme wind gusts at the media village on Feb. 14. The wind disrupted events and schedules.
Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press via AP
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The Canadian Press via AP
Olympic workers take cover from extreme wind gusts at the media village on Feb. 14. The wind disrupted events and schedules.
Competitors participate in the official training for the biathlon women's relay on Feb. 21. The athletes from Belarus took gold in the event the next day.
Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Competitors participate in the official training for the biathlon women's relay on Feb. 21. The athletes from Belarus took gold in the event the next day.
Cross-country skier Peter Mlynar of Slovakia took part in the men's 50-kilometer mass start race on Feb. 24. The race was won by Iivo Niskanen of Finland.
Matthias Hangst / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Cross-country skier Peter Mlynar of Slovakia took part in the men's 50-kilometer mass start race on Feb. 24. The race was won by Iivo Niskanen of Finland.
Speedskaters Li Jinyu of China and Elise Christie of Great Britain fall as Choi Min-jeong of South Korea skates past during the short track 1,500-meter semifinals on Feb. 17.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Speedskaters Li Jinyu of China and Elise Christie of Great Britain fall as Choi Min-jeong of South Korea skates past during the short track 1,500-meter semifinals on Feb. 17.
The U.S. women's ice hockey team celebrates after defeating Canada 3-2 to win gold on Feb. 22.
Harry How / Getty Images
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Getty Images
The U.S. women's ice hockey team celebrates after defeating Canada 3-2 to win gold on Feb. 22.
A "flower girl" collects Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals thrown by fans of Japanese gold medalist figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu on Feb. 16, during the men's figure skating short program.
Aris Messinis / AFP/Getty Images
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AFP/Getty Images
A "flower girl" collects Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals thrown by fans of Japanese gold medalist figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu on Feb. 16, during the men's figure skating short program.
Snowboarder Silje Norendal of Norway competes during the final of the women's big air event on Feb. 22. Anna Gasser of Austria won the gold.
Christof Stache / AFP/Getty Images
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AFP/Getty Images
Snowboarder Silje Norendal of Norway competes during the final of the women's big air event on Feb. 22. Anna Gasser of Austria won the gold.
Super-G gold medalist Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic celebrates her surprise win on Feb. 17. She went on to win gold in parallel giant slalom snowboarding as well, making her the first woman to win two gold medals in different sports at the same Olympic Games.
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Super-G gold medalist Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic celebrates her surprise win on Feb. 17. She went on to win gold in parallel giant slalom snowboarding as well, making her the first woman to win two gold medals in different sports at the same Olympic Games.
Russian athletes celebrate after winning the men's gold medal hockey game against Germany, 4-3, in overtime Feb. 25. It was the second gold for the Olympic Athletes from Russia.
Jae C. Hong / AP
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AP
Russian athletes celebrate after winning the men's gold medal hockey game against Germany, 4-3, in overtime Feb. 25. It was the second gold for the Olympic Athletes from Russia.
U.S. cross-country skier Jessica Diggins crosses the finish line to win team gold in the women's cross-country team sprint free final on Feb. 21.
Odd Andersen / AFP/Getty Images
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AFP/Getty Images
U.S. cross-country skier Jessica Diggins crosses the finish line to win team gold in the women's cross-country team sprint free final on Feb. 21.

Hannah Bloch is lead digital editor on NPR's international desk, overseeing the work of NPR correspondents and freelance journalists around the world.

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