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Winter Olympics closing ceremony LIVE: Team GB women win first gold medal in curling as Beijing Games end

Follow latest updates from Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 as Team GB chase their first medal of the Games

Watch live outside China’s National Stadium as Winter Olympics come to close

Great Britain’s women, led by Eve Muirhead, went one better than the men in their gold medal match against Japan at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The men’s team fell short yesterday when Sweden claimed gold to deny Bruce Mouat and his team. Swedish skip Niklas Edin proved too good and repeated their victory over Great Britain in a 2014 semi-final. Muirhead overcame almost impossible odds to steer her women’s curling team into the Olympic final where she completed an incredible journey to finally fulfil an ambition that appeared beyond her after a decade at the top of her sport. Team coach Murdoch put her chances of salvaging victory at “less than 10 per cent” after shipping four shots in a disastrous opening end to defending Olympic champions Sweden, but they clawed back to clinch a thrilling 12-11 victory in an extra end.

In the final, Muirhead guided Great Britain to their first and only gold of the Games, beating Japan 10-3 to claim the joint-biggest margin of victory in a final since the sport was reintroduced in ‘98. With all events now closed and the medals handed out, it only remains for the closing ceremony to take place and the baton to be passed on to Italy.

Follow live coverage from the Winter Olympics below:

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Handover ceremony taking place

The portion of the closing ceremony where Beijing officially hands over to Milan as Winter Olympics host is now taking place in the National Arena.

Some children have sung an acapella version of the Olympic anthem, and Thomas Bach has waved a very big Olympic rings flag around.

Now a stripped-back, violin-led version of the Italian anthem is being performed. This is the best anthem in the world, because of its bombast and pomp, and this rendition is offering none of that unfortunately. A let down.

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National anthem of Greece next in closing ceremony

Next up at the closing ceremony is the national anthem of Greece.

As the birthplace of the Olympics, the Greek anthem is always played in the closing ceremonies of both the Summer and Winter Games.

Now Xi Jingping and Thomas Bach are stepping into the medal of the stadium, as Beijing hands over to Milan for 2026.

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Final medals being given out for biathlon mass start

The IOC always keeps one medal ceremony behind for the event closer, and that’s what we’re seeing now at the National Stadium in Beijing.

The top three in the men’s and women’s mass start, the 30km race which serves as the most prestigious of all the biathlon events, are the athletes who are receiving their medals.

In the women’s event, Therese Johaug of Norway took gold, while the ROC’s Alexander Bolshunov took top spot in the men’s equivalent.

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Athletes being shepherded to seats

The last ten minutes or so have mainly involved all of the athletes from each country dancing around the centre of the stadium and thoroughly enjoying their time together.

The announcer in the arena is desperately trying to get them to leave the stage and take their seats so that the show can continue, but they’re having none of it yet. the French are skipping around in a circle, holding hands and have the times of their lives.

Athletes inside the National Stadium.

The athletes are now finally being ushered away towards their seats by a team of volunteers. They should have just let them carry on, that was great fun.

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Meyers Taylor makes history for USA in Beijing

Elana Meyers Taylor has led the USA team into the arena in Beijing as flag-bearer.

The 37-year-old took silver in the women’s monobob and bronze in the women’s two-man bobsleigh here to take her tally of medals at the Winter Olympics up to five.

She is now the most successful black athlete in the history of the Winter Olympic Games.

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Fillon Maillet leads France into arena

The biathlete Quentin Fillon Maillet has led the French team into the National Stadium in Beijing.

The 29-year-old won an immensely impressive five medals in the biathlon events at these Games, comprising two golds and and three silvers, as he battled long-term rival Johannes Thingnes Boe for glory.

He is the current leader in the World Cup standings on the biathlon tour.

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Nations begin entering National Stadium

The flag bearers from all 91 nations who have participated in these 2022 Winter Olympic Games have begun entering the National Stadium.

Their entry is accompanied by an augmented reality display that makes the floor look as though it is made of ice. That was impressive.

Bruce Mouat is Team GB’s flag bearer.

Now all of the athletes who remain in China are taking a lap of the stadium, waving to the crowd and TV cameras.

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Jingping and Bach introduced to crowd in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jingping and President of the IOC Thomas Bach have both been introduced to the crowd at the National Stadium.

The plight of tennis player Peng Shuai, who went missing for weeks after accusing a prominent Chinese official of sexual assault on social media before appearing publicly in ways which still concern human rights organisations, was one of the most pressing issues going into the Games.

Bach has come under pressure over his response to that and other issues in China, including the alleged genocide of Uyghur muslims. The sight of him smiling and waving alongside Jingping won’t go down especially well with critics.

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Closing ceremony underway in Beijing

The closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games is underway in Beijing.

Curling silver medallist Bruce Mouat will serve as Team GB’s flag bearer at the National Stadium, also known as the bird’s nest.

The Chinese are believed to be going with a stripped-down approach to the closer, which we’ll run you through over the next hour or so.

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Women’s curling gold gives Bruce Mouat extra motivation to replicate success at Milano-Cortina

Eve Muirhead gave Bruce Mouat an extra morsel of motivation to turn Beijing silver into glistening gold in Milano-Cortina.

Muirhead and Mouat’s brilliant performances marked the first time that two British curling teams have stood on the podium at the same Games. While Muirhead cantered to 10-3 victory in the gold medal match against Japan, Mouat was narrowly outwitted 5-4 by Sweden in a low-scoring thriller.

The 27-year-old didn’t need any more incentive to chase top step in four years’ time, but Muirhead gave it to him anyway.

“That gold medal looked very good on them!”, Mouat said. “I think all the girls suit in completely. Now it’s down to the hard work that me and the boys put in so we can get our own one in four years’ time.”

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