Tokyo’s closing ceremony ends pandemic Olympics

Tokyo doused its Olympic flame in a ceremony on Sunday that echoed the restraint of the video games that performed out with out spectators and had been outlined and reworked by the worldwide pandemic, dazzling sport and deeply private turmoil.

Moments after the flame was extinguished within the Olympic Stadium, a volley of multicoloured fireworks lit up the evening sky as athletes had been already heading for the exits.

They got a surreal glimpse of on a regular basis Tokyo life when the closing ceremony was briefly reworked right into a park with grass, buskers and BMX riders. Organisers stated the scene was meant so they may “experience Tokyo”, a poignant nod to the truth that many spent their time on the video games cooped up in rooms or competing in venues.

It was a duly odd closing to the video games that had been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic after which reworked by the drama of politics, sport and private turmoil. The Tokyo Olympics had been initially meant to point out Japan’s restoration from a devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011.

It was additionally in marked distinction to the much more festive park scene that performed out in Paris, the place a number of thousand sports activities followers waving the tricolour flag thronged right into a fan zone throughout the river from the Eiffel Tower because the French capital ready to take the Olympic baton from Tokyo for the 2024 Summer Games.

After being postponed for a yr, organisers stated the video games would function an emblem of the world’s overcome the pandemic. Held with out spectators and with coronavirus variants resurgent, the video games fell in need of a triumph and the monetary windfall Japan first sought.

Instead, the host nation is saddled with a $15bn invoice, double what it initially anticipated, and with no vacationer increase to offset it.

The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) thanked the Japanese individuals and touted the Olympics as an emblem of hope throughout a attempting pandemic.

“Nobody has ever organised a postponed games before,” he stated.

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