Sporting history is in the books.
Twelve days after kicking off the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games with a spectacular yet solemn opening ceremony, Cambodia formally brought down the curtains on its first-ever hosting of the regional conclave with a more subdued but colorful closing ceremony, also at the Morodok Techo Stadium in Phnom Penh.
The curtain call began with a song-and-dance performance aptly titled “See You Again,” indicating Cambodia's hopes of once again welcoming those who visited the emerging Southeast Asian kingdom. It was followed by another showcase of kun bokator, a traditional Cambodian martial art that was included as one of the sports in this particular edition of the SEA Games.
Among the other notable highlights of the closing ceremony was the parade of medalists, which saw several medal winners from each nation march around the stadium for a final time. Unsurprisingly, Cambodia’s medalists were well represented in the parade, as quite a few athletes from other countries, including the Philippines’ Gilas Pilipinas contingent, had already left the country.
The ceremony also featured all the traditions related to the official closing of the biennial conclave, including the awarding of the best athletes—Singapore’s Quah Tin Wen and Cambodia’s Pal Chhor Raksmy—and the closing keynotes. The SEA Games flame, lit for the first time ever in Cambodia, was also extinguished while the SEA Games Federation flag was lowered. Cambodia formally handed the flag over to Thailand, which gave a preview showcase of what to expect in its SEA Games hosting in 2025.
At the conclusion of the biennial meet, the Philippines settled for 5th place overall, with 58 gold, 85 silver, and 117 bronze medals. Vietnam ruled the lot once more with 136 gold, 105 silver, and 118 bronze medals, followed by Thailand and its 108 gold, 96 silver, and 108 bronze medals. Indonesia finished third overall, followed by the host nation.