The Closing Ceremony of IOI 2013 on Friday was both emotional and exciting.
As they waited for the medals to be handed out, guests and competitors were treated to some outstanding performances by Australian groups.
Silence fell amongst the crowd in Morris Hall at Brisbane’s Anglican Church Grammar School when an Aboriginal performing arts group opened with a stunning native dance.
Later, a group called the Bellflowers sang songs from the Torres Strait Islands allowing the audience to soak up their final moments of Australian culture before they headed home.
Then the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived – the presentation of the medals.
The Chinese team dominated the rankings this year, receiving medals for first, second and tying with Russia for third place.
There were roars of excitement when China’s Lijie Chen stood to receive his trophy and gold medal.
This win will now guarantee him a place into any university of his choosing.
Gold medal winner Siarhei Kulik from Belarus had participated in two previous IOI competitions but this year was his first gold medal.
“I’m very happy to win the gold because I’ve trained hard to get it, ” said Mr Kulik.
Bulgarian silver medallist Encho Mishinev received a special award for being the youngest IOI competitor to receive a medal.
Chairman of IOI 2014 which will be held in Taipei, Professor Greg Lee, said he felt both terrified and excited about hosting next year’s event.
“We have to organise an event for so many people, not just for the attendees, but for all the volunteers, the reporters, and so it’s a big event and I’ve never done this before, ” said Professor Lee.
Like the flaming torch symbolising the Olympics, the bold orange flag representing the IOI was passed on to the Taiwan delegation by the Australian IOI chair Professor Peter Harvey.