Amid a riot of colour combining tradition with modernity, Brazil showcased its cultural variety, paying tributes to the country’s music maestros, arts and dance forms, as the curtains came down on the 31st Olympic Games here on Sunday.
In the presence of over 60,000 spectators and over 11,000 athletes from across the globe at the historic Maracana, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach officially declared the Games closed, urging the youths of the world to assemble in Tokyo in 2020 for the next edition of the quadrennial showpiece.
“I declare the Games of the 31st Olympiad closed. In accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in Tokyo, Japan, to celebrate with us the Games of the 32nd Olympiad. Bye bye Rio,” said Bach at the Closing ceremony.
A little earlier, in a customary handover ritual, the flag of Greece — the host of the ancient Olympics and the stage of the first modern games in 1896 — went up, and the Olympic flag was lowered and handed to the Mayor of Rio, who gave it to Bach.
Silence and emotion took over Maracana, with Bach presenting the flag to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike in a symbolic gesture to the Asian city, now busy preparing for the Games — the biggest sporting extravaganza on the globe.