Olimpiada Rio 2016

Rio Celebrates in Carnival Style the Passing of the 'Marvelous Games'

The first Olympic Games held in South America came to a close in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night (the 21st) in a Carnival like atmosphere, in an event with less protocol than the opening ceremonies.

The best moments from the Olympics were shown on a giant screen at Maracanã, to the sound of the Bachianas and Villa-Lobos. The spectators were vibrant with Neymar's goal, replayed on the screen, and with canoeist Isaquias Queiroz's victory gesture.

The video ended with moments from Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and American swimmer Michael Phelps.

One of the high points of the closing ceremony of the Rio Games was the passing of the Olympic flag to the next city, Tokyo, which will host the Games in 2020.

The public was vibrant again when the videogame character Mario from Mario Bros, the icon of Japanese company Nintendo, appeared on screen. While the spectators were captivated by the character, which until then had been merely virtual, a traditional green pipe like those found in the games appeared in the middle of the arena.

Then the crowd went crazy when a man in the traditional red cap appeared: it was none-other than Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe. Various other Japanese pop icons appeared in the promotional video and spoke to what was going on in the arena.

Rio's Mayor, Eduardo Paes, was booed in the Maracanã stadium during the closing ceremony for the Games. He had climbed up onto the stage set up for raising of the Brazilian, Japanese and International Olympic Committee (IOC) flags.

He waved the IOC flag as the President of the Committee, Thomas Bach and the Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike had done. Only the Mayor of Rio was booed.

Sergio Moraes/Reuters
Performers take part in the closing ceremony
Performers take part in the closing ceremony

"I am the happiest man in the world. Rio is the best place on earth. I invite everyone to celebrate this huge victory. The Rio Olympics will remain in the memories and hearts of the men, women and youth who were touched by the olympic torch," said the President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

"We love you, Brazilians. Thank you so much, cariocas. Congratulations, Brazil". Those are the words the IOC president Thomas Bach used to start his speech at the closing ceremony in Maracanã.

"Your joy warms our hearts," he added. Bach also made a point of thanking the refugees, who participated in the Olympics for the first time in history. "History will talk about the Rio before the Olympics and the one after," he concluded.

After almost a month of competitions, Bach announced the end of the Olympic Games.

John MacDougall/AFP
Dancers perform during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro
Dancers perform during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro

After the torch was extinguished, samba performers sang "Cidade Maravilhosa" ("Marvelous City") mixed with carnaval parade songs like ""Mamãe eu quero" and "Sassaricando". An animated audience sang along.

Jamming to samba, the audience, dancers and athletes danced away at Maracanã, which turned into an out of season carnaval. The music brought the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games to an end.


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