The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics concluded on Sunday, ending one of the most complicated and controversial summer-winter cycles in the history of the Games.

Celebrated film director Zhang Yimou orchestrated another visually dazzling spectacle for the closing ceremony in Beijing's National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, returning with thousands of volunteers and special effects seen in an opening ceremony that drew criticism from the U.S. for its political overtones.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was seen standing next to International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach, wearing a dark coat and red mask with the Olympics logo and waving to the audience in near-freezing temperatures at the packed stadium. Xi didn’t speak, while Bach called the Games "truly exceptional” in his closing remarks.