GANGNEUNG -- The Korean delegation for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games officially disbanded on Monday after finishing seventh in the medal race.
The ceremony to mark the end of Korean athletes' Olympic campaign was held at Gangneung Athletes' Village in Gangneung, Gangwon Province. Nearly 200 athletes, coaches and officials attended the ceremony honoring their hard work and achievements at the 23rd Winter Olympics at home.
"We saw athletes and people getting together, feeling the same emotions and thoughts," Sports Minister Do Jong-hwan said at the ceremony. "Your performance at the Winter Olympics contained a philosophy of life."
South Korean athletes and officials for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics pose for a group photo at Gangneung Athletes` Village in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 26, 2018. (Yonhap)
Led by chef de mission Kim Ji-yong, Korea sent its largest Winter Olympics delegation ever, with 144 athletes competing in all 15 sports, and collected five gold, eight silver and four bronze medals to finish seventh in the medal standings.
The total fell short of reaching the original target of eight gold, four silver and eight bronze medals for a top-four finish, but it was still the best performance by an Asian country at this Olympic Games. Also, in terms of total medals, Korea surpassed its previous record of 14 medals won in Vancouver with 17 medals.
Korean Sport & Olympic Committee President Lee Kee-heung thanked the athletes for their inspiring performances at home.
"With the joint Korean women's ice hockey team and two Koreas joint parade at the opening ceremony, we caught the eyes of the world," Lee said. "We earned a record 17 medals from six sports and delivered solid results at the PyeongChang Olympics."
After the ceremony, the athletes took a group photo to remember their times at the athletes' village. The athletes were scheduled to eat lunch and go back to their homes, with some of them heading to national training centers in Seoul and in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province.(Yonhap)