The closing ceremony of the 2020 Summer Olympics, officially the XXXII Olympiad held in Tokyo in 2021, took place on Sunday night.
The show began with a short video celebrating the last 17 days and fireworks to mark the beginning of the end.
After the Japanese national anthem was sung by a company with 100 years of history and the flag entered the stadium, the parade of athletes was ushered with the flag bearers of each country parading and forming a circle. Then the remaining athletes enter all at once from four doors. The organizers wanted this part of the ceremony to be “one of celebration and liberation.”
This also sped up the athletes’ parade and allowed them to blend in, a freedom offered by constant COVID testing before and during games.
There were noticeably fewer athletes and officials in this shutdown, with many leaving Japan within 48 hours of their last event, in accordance with COVID regulations.
Then he went on to the display of the Olympic rings. As a “symbol of individual passion, dedication, hopes and dreams,” there were bright spots of light on the field, emanating from the seats representing the audience who, if allowed, would likely have lit the lanterns of their smartphones. Then the lights formed the five Olympic rings in the sky.
The stadium was then transformed into a large park with loaded grass for a segment titled “All the inhabitants of Tokyo.” Organizers wanted this to be a time when athletes could kick back and relax, “like a Sunday afternoon in a Tokyo park.” It lasted almost 14 minutes and featured performances by singers, dancers, BMX riders and skaters to the tune of various songs from the Call from Rio by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
Then came the moment of gratitude, for the athletes and staff who helped make the Games and ceremony happen. This started with the Greek national anthem and the Greek flag (Greece is the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games) and continued with the medal ceremonies for the male and female marathon medalists.
The first honors went to the Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the winner of the women’s marathon held on Saturday, his compatriot Brigid Kosgei and the American Molly Seidel, silver and bronze medalists.
Then Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya, who won the men’s marathon earlier in the day in Sapporo more than 800 kilometers away, along with silver and bronze winners Abdi Nageeye and Bashir Abdi, from the Netherlands and Belgium respectively, received their medals. . These medal presentations were intended to represent the victory of all athletes at the Games.
The next stage of the show aimed to celebrate traditional festivals and dances from all over Japan under the title We Remember. These have been passed down from generation to generation, organizers said.
It also included a moment of remembrance to allow athletes to mourn all the deceased.
In one of the last official acts of the closing ceremony, the Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, raised the Olympic flag and presented it to the President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, to the mayor of the next host city, Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
An eight-minute performance organized by the Paris organizers followed. It was designed as “an invitation to the youth of the world to attend the next Games.” It included a video of performances by The marsellesa – the French national anthem – and a guest appearance by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet on saxophone from the International Space Station.
The French were already enjoying the freedom of confinement in Paris, with thousands of people gathered by the Eiffel Tower to watch the closing ceremony and witness something of an early record. Live from the French capital, the Paris 2024 committee says it waved the world’s largest flag, nearly the size of a football field, using the Eiffel Tower as a flagpole, with the airshow team from France’s elite performing stunts, doing blue-white-red. ribbons above and President Emmanuel Macron delivering the updated Olympic motto: “Faster, higher, stronger, together” from the top of the tower.
Following the mandatory speeches, the Olympic flame was extinguished and, for the first time during a closing ceremony, a preview of the Paralympic Games was shown on video to the tune of the main theme of the Netflix documentary. Rising phoenix. Followed by fireworks and the word ARIGATO displayed on screens around the stadium.
The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said that in difficult times, Tokyo “gave the world the most precious thing: hope.”
“For the first time since the pandemic began, the world came together,” he said. “The Japanese people can be extremely proud of what they have accomplished.”
The theme of the closing ceremony was “Worlds we share” and the organizers had promised to leave us “elements to reflect on diversity and inclusion as we continue towards the Paralympic Games.”
It was designed not only to celebrate the efforts of the athletes in the first 17 days of the Games, but also to “bring excitement and joy” to the Paralympic Games, which begin on August 24.
“We want these ceremonies to be a series of moments that give each and every one of us the strength to look to the future, and also serve as opportunities to create a better normality together,” they said.
Did they make it? You are the judge.
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