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Tokyo Olympics Day 16, Closing Ceremony Highlights: Tokyo chapter concludes, over to Paris!

Tokyo Olympics 2021 Events Schedule, Day 16: The Tokyo Olympic Stadium hosted a beautiful closing ceremony on Sunday after the medal events come to a conclusion.

By: Sports Desk Written by Mihir Vasavda | Tokyo |
Updated: August 8, 2021 10:35:10 pm
Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony.

Tokyo Olympics 2021, Day 16: The Tokyo Olympics are officially over. IOC President Thomas Bach declared the Games closed after the French flag was raised inside Olympic Stadium for the transition to Paris 2024. After a short performance in the stadium, the cauldron closed around the Olympic flame, extinguishing it.

The ceremony included a ska band on a stage with people dancing, juggling and soccer players moving around an elevated stage in the center of the stadium. Medals for the marathon were presented — an Olympic tradition — followed by traditional Japanese dances inside the stadium and on the videoboard. An opera singer performed during the International Olympic Committee anthem, then the transition to Paris 2024 that included a flyover in front of thousands of fans in front of the Eiffel Tower.

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Tokyo Olympics 2021, Day 16 Closing Ceremony Highlights: The Tokyo Olympic Stadium hosted a beautiful closing ceremony on Sunday after the medal events come to a conclusion.

18:46 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Tokyo Olympics closed

IOC President Thomas declares the 32nd Olympics closed. 'See you in Paris, thank you very much,' Bach said. The flame has been extinguished with a beautiful song. Now, get ready for the Tokyo Paralympics.

18:42 (IST)08 Aug 2021
IOC President Thomas speaks

'You inspired us with this unifying power of sport. This was even more remarkable given the many challenges you had to face because of the pandemic. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are the Olympic Games of hope, solidarity, and peace,' said IOC President Thomas Bach. Thomas also thanked the volunteers for hosting the Olympics successfully even after they got postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

18:22 (IST)08 Aug 2021
The closing ceremony shot could have been more epic!

The plan was to use Eiffel tower in Paris as the largest flag pole in the closing ceremony shots but due to bad weather they have dropped it. They did a successful rehearsal of it in June.

18:15 (IST)08 Aug 2021
France national anthem

After the flag handover to the Mayor of Paris, the national anthem of France plays in the stadium who will be the hosts of 2024 Olympics. Towards the end of the national anthem, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet plays the Marseillaise on the saxophone from space.

18:14 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Flag handover

After the traditional dance performances, Olympic anthem, the Mayor of Tokyo handed over the flag to IOC President Thomas Bach, who further handed it to the Mayor of Paris for the next Olympics. 

18:01 (IST)08 Aug 2021
PM Modi congratulates athletes

PM Narendra Modi thanks all the athletes of the Indian contingent, medal winners or not for representing the nation in Tokyo Olympics. 

17:57 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Volunteers under spotlight

The volunteers at Tokyo Olympics accept small tokens of gifts from the newly-elected IOC Athletes Commission members. Over 70,000 volunteers made the Games possible despite the major Covid-19 threat. 

17:48 (IST)08 Aug 2021
The performers of one big party!

In contrast to the sombre, almost brooding, ruminative theme in the opening ceremony, the end has been immensely peppy thus far. Orchestral bands and  DJ Matsunaga, a winner of works DJ championship, strutted his stuff on the turntable. Before the Greece flag went up in honor of where it all began.

17:47 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Why marathon winners were given medals at closing ceremony?

The medals for the marathon race were given out in the closing ceremony. It's an ode to ancient Greek history that marathon is one of the last contests in Olympics. 

In 490 BC, after a Persian army was defeated by Athenians on the plains of Marathon, the legend grew that a foot courier ran all the way to Athens to convey the great news of victory. And myth has it that he fell down dead after declaring , 'Rejoice! We conquer!'. The legend of the runner who died to bring the good news took hold and out of that emerged the modern marathon.

17:37 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Victory ceremonies for marathon winners

This is the first time in Summer Olympics, victories ceremonies for any event have been held during the closing ceremony. IOC president Thomas Bach, the 1976 Fencing Olympic champion presents the medals. Bach has been accompanied by World Athletics President, Sebastian Coe, who has won two gold and two silver medals. 

17:31 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Over to you, Paris!

They aced the debuting sports in Tokyo, and Japan have seemingly thrown down for Paris 2024 as well. One of the flag bearers for the hosts at the closing ceremony was Ramu 'Ram' Kawai, the 2018 youth Olympics breaking champion. As per the qualification process, the Kanagawa-born B-girl first floored the judges with a one-minute, unedited video of her performance, then won the continental qualifier in Taipei City before windmilling and headspinning her way to gold In Buenos Aires.

Last December, breaking — the competitive form of breakdancing — was confirmed as part of the final line-up for the Paris Games. And Kawai, a member of one of the most famous breaking crews in the world 'Floorrioz', is earmarked to become the first female Olympic breaking champion. In Tokyo, Japan won 12 medals across the four debuting sports (skateboarding, surfing, climbing and karate); two more if you count the returning baseball and softball.

17:19 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Tokyo life on display

Just after a stunning light show, a Sunday afternoon park in Tokyo was recreated to the accompaniment of orchestral music. Just to give a representation of what Japanese people are up to in a park on Sunday. An idea germinated to give the athletes unable to get out of the village due to covid restrictions. If they and the fans (not allowed this Olympics) had stepped out to the streets, this is what they would have witnessed.

17:18 (IST)08 Aug 2021
The Olympic spirit

The lights went off and we witnessed a beautiful light show in the middle followed by the Olympic spirit and fireworks. And, to conclude, the Olympic rings. 

17:09 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Thousands of athletes gather

The arena is full of athletes showing off their medals, showing posters, posing for cameras and having a good time. 

17:03 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Why athletes did not come out in any particular order?

Unlike the opening ceremony, where they walked out in different groups from different countries,  the athletes walk as one under one world , one nation in the closing ceremony.

It was triggered by letter from John Ian Wing, a 17-year old Chinese , a third generation immigrant living in Australia then. It was the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne and Ian Wing didn't like what he saw as political interference in the games.

It was a time of  fracas. Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon had pulled out of the games following the Suez Crisis in October 1956 a military attack on Egypt by Britain, France and Israel. Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland also withdrew after the Hungarian Uprising. The water polo atheletes from Russia and Hungary even fought physically in the event and players were bloodied.

Three days before the closing ceremony,  Ian wing wrote to the Olympics director. That in the closing ceremony should be organised with a "one world one nation" theme. 

Wrong didn't think much of it and went to watch a cowboy movie during the closing ceremony. A shy boy, he grew a bit worried about the news frenzy and sent another letter to the director not to reveal his identity.

The letter made Wing famous and put his name in Australian history textbooks. A street was named after him in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Village. Years later, he moved to England. 

It was only in 1986  that his identity was revealed when an Australian student Shane Cahill, now unsurprisingly a journalist and commentator, doing a research on Olympics stumbled on his letter. Media hunted. And a radio Jockey in London called him and asked, 'are you the John Ian Wing?"

16:55 (IST)08 Aug 2021
All athletes come out

All the athletes come out in the arena. There is no particular order of entry followed here. The athletes are casually walking with their medals, flags, smartphones in their hands and waving around.

16:43 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Bajrang Punia - India's flag bearer

All the flagbearers of National Olympic committees come out with the flag of their respective countries. For India, Bajrang Punia is the flag-bearer. Punia won a bronze medal in the men's freestyle 65kg wrestling event. 

16:40 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Flag of Japan

The flag of Japan has been brought by six bearers to start off the closing ceremony. Tokyo Story movie's theme song is playing in the background as bearers bring the flag. It is followed by the national anthem of Japan. 

16:30 (IST)08 Aug 2021
Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony

Here we go...

16:00 (IST)08 Aug 2021
In other news: Messi confirms his Barcelona departure

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Neeraj Chopra of India in action (REUTERS)

The 87.03 metres throw. Not to be mistaken for that 87.58 metres one which fetched Neeraj Chopra the gold. Chopra’s first rush in the final – the opening act, India’s first step in track & field, Chopra’s rocket take-off, his open challenge to Johannes Vetter to see who was better on the big night – was the defining moment of India’s 2020+1 Olympics climax. The 87.03 joined a pantheon of statistical coincidences, harbingers of blazing medals India has won over the years in Olympic finals.

That the gold medal was sealed with the very first of six throws is clear. Some might even say that the message went out to the field in qualification itself. Chopra 86.65m bt Vetter 85.64m. (READ MORE)

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