The extraordinary Tokyo Olympics drew to a close on Sunday, having oscillated between trials and triumphs with an unprecedented show of hope and tenacity.
With a large firework display adding a burst of sound to the dancing, singing and merry-making, the Japanese capital pulled the curtains down on one of history’s most unique Games, handing over the flag to Paris with the message of moving forward while remembering those who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the global health crisis, the one-year delay, the soaring costs and strongly divided opinions among locals, the spectacle saw the light of the day after staving off numerous challenges on the way.
The festivities began in front of the athletes, dignitaries and officials from across the world after the Japanese flag was raised at the 68,000-seater National Stadium, which was out of bounds to spectators owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The athletes entered the stadium and formed a circle around the rostrum. Unlike the opening ceremony which is a formal affair with the athletes dressed in formal attire, the closing was a time for the achievers to relax and enjoy the occasion.