PHOTOS: Memorable Moments From The Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games : The Torch Norway is taking home the most Winter Olympic medals, 39 total — 14 of them gold. The U.S. came in fourth in the medal count, winning 23 — its lowest number since 1998, when it won 13.
NPR logo PHOTOS: Memorable Moments From The Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games

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/Getty Images hide caption

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Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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.

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 hide caption

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Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Kim Yo Jong (second from right), the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, sits alongside North Korean head of state Kim Yong Nam at the Feb. 9 opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. The games took place against a backdrop of geopolitical tensions surrounding North Korea's nuclear program. Patrick Semansky/Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Patrick Semansky/Pool/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. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images hide caption

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Richard Heathcote/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. Jamie Squire/Getty Images hide caption

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Jamie Squire/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.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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 hide caption

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Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn, who won bronze, follows guides for the victory ceremony of the women's downhill on Feb. 21. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn, who won bronze, follows guides for the victory ceremony of the women's downhill on Feb. 21.

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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 hide caption

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Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP

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 hide caption

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Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

The U.S. men's curling team celebrates its surprise win over Sweden on Feb. 24. It was the first team gold in the sport by an American team. Aaron Favila/AP hide caption

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Aaron Favila/AP

The U.S. men's curling team celebrates its surprise win over Sweden on Feb. 24. It was the first team gold in the sport by an American team.

Aaron Favila/AP

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 hide caption

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Matthias Hangst/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.

Matthias Hangst/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. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images hide caption

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Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

French biathlete Anais Chevalier competes at the shooting range in the women's 4x6-kilometer relay on Feb. 22. Her team won bronze. Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

French biathlete Anais Chevalier competes at the shooting range in the women's 4x6-kilometer relay on Feb. 22. Her team won bronze.

Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. women's ice hockey team celebrates after defeating Canada 3-2 to win gold on Feb. 22. Harry How/Getty Images hide caption

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Harry How/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. Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain takes part in the women's skeleton final run on Feb. 17. She won gold — and became the first woman to win two Olympic medals in the sport. She won her first at the Sochi Games in 2014. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images hide caption

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Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain takes part in the women's skeleton final run on Feb. 17. She won gold — and became the first woman to win two Olympic medals in the sport. She won her first at the Sochi Games in 2014.

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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 hide caption

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Christof Stache/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.

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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 hide caption

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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Tongan cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua delighted fans at the closing ceremony by reprising his shirtless march from the opening ceremony. Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP hide caption

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Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Tongan cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua delighted fans at the closing ceremony by reprising his shirtless march from the opening ceremony.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/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. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

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Jae C. Hong/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.

Jae C. Hong/AP

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 hide caption

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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.

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Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada perform during the ice dancing free skate on Feb. 20. Julie Jacobson/AP hide caption

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Gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada perform during the ice dancing free skate on Feb. 20.

Julie Jacobson/AP

Norway's gold medalist Marit Bjoergen jumps for joy on the medal podium with Finland's silver medalist Krista Parmakoski (left) and Sweden's bronze medalist Stina Nilsson during the medal ceremony for the cross-country women's 30-kilometer mass start classic. Bjoergen has won 15 Olympic medals over her career, the most of any Winter Olympian. Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Norway's gold medalist Marit Bjoergen jumps for joy on the medal podium with Finland's silver medalist Krista Parmakoski (left) and Sweden's bronze medalist Stina Nilsson during the medal ceremony for the cross-country women's 30-kilometer mass start classic. Bjoergen has won 15 Olympic medals over her career, the most of any Winter Olympian.

Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Cross-country skier Iivo Niskanen of Finland celebrates winning the men's 50-kilometer mass start classic race on Feb. 24. His was Finland's first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games. Ian MacNicol/Getty Images hide caption

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Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Cross-country skier Iivo Niskanen of Finland celebrates winning the men's 50-kilometer mass start classic race on Feb. 24. His was Finland's first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games.

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images