Alpine Skiing - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Womenâ€™s Downhill Training - Jeongseon Alpine Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 19, 2018 - A man sleeps in the empty stand. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: From volunteers to support staff to the joint Korea women's hockey team, people from many cultures bid farewell to each other and to the 2018 Winter Olympics Monday as a swath of the eastern Korean Peninsula readied itself for something novel: relative normalcy.Seven years after a successful Olympic bid that changed its people and its landscape forever, Pyeongchang exhaled.North Korea's official news agency, KCNA, known for its invective toward the United States and the Seoul government, has been playing it low key when it comes to these Olympics.North Korea's delegation to the games, including more than 200 cheerleaders whose perfect synchronicity made for some of the Olympics' most popular visuals, returned over land in buses to the North on Monday.The group -- whose members experienced more of the world this month than many of their fellow North Koreans do in a lifetime -- also included 45 athletes, four Olympic officials and 21 journalists.As for the Olympics and the attention and people they bring to this relatively remote plateau of northeastern South Korea, it's not quite finished yet.
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