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Fireworks accompany close of Beijing Winter Olympics

The Olympic flame has been extinguished in Beijing, with fireworks filling the evening sky, marking the end of the most locked-down games in history. It was the second pandemic Olympics in the more than two years since the coronavirus first emerged in China. The movements of athletes, media and workers were heavily restricted and everyone wore masks and took daily COVID tests. There were only 463 positive COVID tests reported among thousands of people who came to Beijing for the Games. Internationally, many denounced the IOC for holding the Olympics in concert with a Chinese government accused of human rights violations. Several Western governments boycotted by not sending any official delegations, though they sent athletes. China denied such allegations, as it typically does. Attention now turns to 2024 in Paris, where officials hope for a COVID-free and scandal-free Summer Games.