19 Dec. 2021
While the cheers and tears were still echoing around the Palau d’Esports in Granollers, the Barcelona-based ‘Batucada Brincadeira’ came on to court in a riot of led lights, noise and vibrancy.
Their specially-choreographed show lit up the court as the main lights were dimmed, encouraging the sold-out crowd to join along, clapping, before they finished and exited the court.
But then ‘Lola’, the official Spain 2021 mascot, appeared alongside Spanish singer Carlos Baute – who also performed at the opening ceremony – and the pair proceeded to dance along together for some of his classic songs, before ending on the official Spain 2021 song ‘Lala Gol’ with Batucada Brincadeira returning to court for the grand finale.
IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa then gave the first closing speech on court.
“I declare the 25th IHF Women’s World Championship closed,” he said “Norway is world champion. Congratulations to the teams and very good luck for the next World Championship.
“I want to give special thanks to the Government of Spain to organise this World Championship in this very hard time for all of us. Also, I want to give my thanks to the cities who hosted this World Championship – Torrevieja, Granollers, Lliria and Castello and my thanks to the President of the Spanish Olympic Committee and Royal Spanish Handball Federation.
“Also, I don’t want to forget the volunteers. Thank you to all of you. For everyone who supported this World Championship.”
Denmark were then awarded their bronze medals by IHF Representative Anna Rapp and President of the Olympic Committee of Spain (COE), Alejandro Blanco.
To rapturous cheers, chanting and applause, France were then introduced to receive their silver medals which they did, jumping up and down on the podium. IHF 1st Vice-President Joël Delplanque was joined by Francisco V. Blázquez García, President of the Royal Spanish Handball Federation (RFEBM) to hand out the awards and soft toy of ‘Lola’.
Finally, gold medallists Norway were introduced, jumping up to the podium in unison, with Minister of Culture and Sport of the Government of Spain Miquel Iceta joining Dr Moustafa handing out the awards and gifts to the cries of ‘Norge’ and sounds of the classic cow and sheep bells from the massed ranks of Norwegian fans inside the Palau d’Esports.
Dr Moustafa then returned to the podium to present the trophy to Norway captain Stine Oftedal, who lifted it in front of an explosion of gold glitter and the sound of Queen’s ‘We are the Champions’.
After the national anthem of Norway had been sung with some power by the Norwegian squad, the flag of the IHF was handed over to representatives from Sweden, Norway and Denmark – the trio of hosts for the next IHF Women’s World Championship, in 2023.
Finally, the unofficial song of the championship – ‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond – then rang out across the arena with fans and teams singing to it as they left the arena for the final time after 19 days of action.
View the gallery of the closing ceremony here.