Tokyo Olympics end with official hand-off to Paris for 2024 Games

The closing ceremony for any Olympics is always a more muted affair than the opening ceremony — since the Olympics are over, of course — but Japan put on an optimistic, jaunty show. It began with a show of worldwide unity, with the flag bearers from every country coming together and forming a circle.

Kemasukan pembawa bendera setiap kontinjen ke dalam #Olympics Stadium. Kami nampak Jalur Gemilang tu yang dibawa oleh atlet terjun negara, @Pandelela_R. 😍

— Team Malaysia (@TeamMsia) August 8, 2021


— Olympics (@Olympics) August 8, 2021


— Olympics (@Olympics) August 8, 2021

Then the athletes came out into the stadium, and even the grass they were standing on was symbolic of Japan's hospitality. 

Wholesome content klaxon!😊

In the spirit of omotenashi, the floor of the stadium is transformed into a grassy field for the athletes to relax.

It is a deep-rooted culture in Japan, meaning to wholeheartedly look after guests.

— Olympics (@Olympics) August 8, 2021

There were also street performers, including jugglers, dancers, and, skateboarders, and an extended performance by the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. 

Unfortunately there's no video of the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra's performance on social media quite yet, so if you didn't catch the ceremony live you'll have to wait until Sunday night to see the white-jacketed ska horn players constantly dancing around on stage. But these pictures should tide you over until then, and give you the general idea of the positively ska-riffic tone. 

CBC went to commercial break thus depriving Canada of the musical stylings of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) August 8, 2021

Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra se hace presente en la Ceremonia de Clausura de #Tokyo2020

— MedioTiempo (@mediotiempo) August 8, 2021

One of the highlights was a gorgeous light display, during which thousands of small lights swirled over the athletes' heads and formed into the five Olympic rings. 

The Olympic spirit is in all of us.

A display of beautiful, luminous colours swirl together, representing the many flags of the world.

They form the Olympic Rings, a timeless symbol of unity.

— Olympics (@Olympics) August 8, 2021

#Olympics Ring. 😍✨

— Team Malaysia (@TeamMsia) August 8, 2021

The final medals of the Olympics were given out to the winners of the last events of the Olympics, the men's marathon, and for the first time, to the women's marathon as well.

Kenya 🇰🇪 takes the double in the marathon, with Eliud Kipchoge earning his second consecutive Olympic gold in the event, while Peres Jepchirchir delivered a spectacular finish to win the women's gold.

— Olympics (@Olympics) August 8, 2021

Handing over the Games to Paris

After a performance of traditional Japanese song and dance, the ceremony began looking forward. The next Olympic Games will take place in just three years in Paris. The Olympic flag was officially handed over to the mayor of Paris, and the national anthem of France was played to make the transition official. 

The anthem even ended with a French astronaut who is currently orbiting the Earth playing his saxophone, which was an amazing detail no one could have expected. 

This is quite the handover ceremony – including the French national anthem being played from the International Space Station! Pretty stunning ✨🌏

— Dr Annie Thwaite (@AnnieThwaite) August 8, 2021

saxophonist from space station 🙌🏼

— . (@Lettie4u) August 8, 2021

There was even a video of a live Olympic celebration in Paris, the first time that's been included in a closing ceremony. It ended with a flyover of jets spraying the colors of the French flag behind them, and a closeup of the enormous Paris 2024 flag that's flying from the actual Eiffel Tower. If that's any indication, the Paris games will be a banger. 

We can't deny how Japan did a great job hosting this year's Olympics amidst the pandemic. But all good things come to an end. 🇯🇵

Thank you | Arigatou #Tokyo2020
Hello | Bonjour

— Alphina (@maleedus) August 8, 2021

Let's get it started!

Les Jeux Olympiques de #Paris2024 commencent !
Ouvrons ensemble un nouveau chapitre des Jeux.

Together, let’s write a new chapter of the Olympic Games.


— Paris 2024 (@Paris2024) August 8, 2021

Wow, that's impressive, @Paris2024!#Paris2024 |

— Olympics (@Olympics) August 8, 2021

Then the cauldron, which was lit by Naomi Osaka over two weeks ago, was finally extinguished, and the Games came to an end. 

Goodbye 🔥

— Badminton Talk (@BadmintonTalk) August 8, 2021

GOOSEBUMPS! The Olympic Flame has been extinguished! 😍🤩

But the Olympic spirit we've witnessed at @Tokyo2020 will keep burning bright.

Even when we are far apart, we are all connected and

— Olympics (@Olympics) August 8, 2021

If you're already going through Olympics withdrawal, you won't be for long. The 2022 Winter Games in Beijing aren't that far away. They kick off on Friday, February 4, 2022, in just 180 days.

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