The 7th CISM Military World Games (7th CWG) got a final salute on Oct. 27 to cap off 12 days of sporting accomplishments and friendship.

The Closing Ceremony brought the message “sharing friendship, building peace” to Wuhan Sports Center Stadium with artistic performances that seamlessly weaved together the cultures of the event’s past hosts and participating nations.

Once the flags of the 109 delegations were marched out into the stadium, the orderly notes of the military orchestra were replaced with vivacious melodies from traditional instruments from around the world.

A fan dance that traces its roots to the Republic of Korea, host of the Mungyeong 2015 CISM Military World Games, transformed into a passionate samba from 2011 hosts Brazil, while the mascots of all three events - including Wuhan’s beloved Bingbing - came together to the delight of the spectators in the 13,000-capacity hall.

China’s rich history was also on display with musical numbers featuring soft chimes and the world-renowned Han Opera.

The Closing Ceremony also echoed the technological theme of the Opening Ceremony. Throughout the two-hour show, the stadium lit up with advanced 3D graphics that transformed the floor into various dream-like scenarios from a phoenix lair to a jungle waterfall, while the ceiling became a night sky of patterns and constellations.

Held at the same venue where the Chinese men’s volleyball team won gold the previous night, the Ceremony was also a fitting reminder of the success the local team has had in the seventh edition of the event.

China finished the 7th CWG with 133 gold medals, with Russia and Brazil trailing in second and third places respectively.

As the flame went out from the cauldron at the Wuhan Sports Center, a curtain fell on a sporting feast that has captivated this city of more than 10 million people, and the world beyond. For more than 9,000 athletes who competed at the Games, it signaled a call for a much-deserved celebration of their sporting achievements.

[Editor NIE Yang]