Robin Mitchell has claimed Beijing 2022 "united us through sport", upon the conclusion of the Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Acting Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President Robin Mitchell has claimed Beijing 2022 "united us through sport", upon the conclusion of the Winter Olympics.

Mitchell attended daily Coordination Commission meetings at Beijing 2022, representing ANOC, and has paid tribute to organisers.

"Beijing 2022 put athletes back at the forefront and allowed them to showcase their exceptional talents," Mitchell said.

"We have witnessed so many incredible performances over the last two weeks which will live long in the memory after we have returned home. 

"We must express our gratitude to the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and Beijing 2022 Organising Committee for their tireless efforts in ensuring the Games could be held safely and that our athletes could be provided with the international platform they deserve.

"While the Games is undoubtedly about excellence, it is also about so much more than winning medals. 

"Despite the challenges, the Games united us through sport, and for every medal there were countless more displays of friendship and respect."

New Zealand won Winter Olympic gold for the first time, with Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and then Nico Porteous earning women's snowboard slopestyle and men's ski halfpipe titles, respectively.

Two National Olympic Committees (NOCs) - from Haiti and Saudi Arabia - sent athletes to the Winter Olympics for the first time.

Ukrainian skeleton athlete Vladyslav Heraskevych displaying a banner which called for "No War in Ukraine" was one moment which can be seen as a sign of friendship, and echoed IOC President Thomas Bach's call at the Closing Ceremony to "give peace a chance".

Beijing 2022 has not been without controversy, in particular because of China's record on human rights and the decision to choose Uyghur cross-country skier Dinigeer Yilamujiang to light the Olympic Cauldron.

Richardson Viano is Haiti's first-ever Winter Olympian  ©Getty Images
Richardson Viano is Haiti's first-ever Winter Olympian ©Getty Images

The Kamila Valieva scandal, whereby the 15-year-old was allowed to compete after it became known mid-Games she had failed a drugs test on December 25, has also proved divisive, and there were complaints about the conditions athletes in COVID-19 isolation were kept in.

ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg thanked organisers for seeking to rectify issues when they arose.

"We sincerely thank Beijing 2022 and the IOC for hosting a wonderful Winter Games," said Lindberg.

"There were of course challenges as at any Games, but our hosts moved so quickly to solve them and the feedback we received from NOCs has been positive.

"The NOCs deserve special recognition for the fantastic job they have done in supporting their athletes before and during Beijing 2022. 

"It has not been easy, especially during a pandemic and with Tokyo 2020 taking place just six months before, but the NOCs have demonstrated their resilience, adaptability and determination to serve their athletes. 

"It has been reflected in the quality of the competitions here in Beijing and the wonderful athlete performances which will have inspired so many around the world."

During Beijing 2022, a number of NOCs sought to have athletes who tested positive for coronavirus or were deemed close contacts treated in a different manner.

The plight of Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans, whose tearful Instagram post sparked outrage and ultimately saw her moved to the Olympic Village in Yanqing after the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee also lobbied on her behalf, was one example.

The next major gathering on the ANOC calendar is the organisation's elective General Assembly, which is scheduled to take place in Seoul during October.