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Tokyo Olympics 2020 declared closed

Flag passed to Paris for 2024 Olympic Games

Prime News, International and National Sport and Games, Olympics, Tokyo (Japan), August 9:- It began with a virus and a yearlong pause. It ended with a typhoon blowing through and, still, a virus. In between: just about everything.

The Tokyo Olympics, christened with 2020 but held in mid-2021 after being interrupted for a year by the coronavirus, glided to its conclusion in a Covid-emptied stadium on Sunday night (August 8) as an often surreal mixed bag for Japan and for the world.

A rollicking closing ceremony with the theme ‘Worlds We Share’ an optimistic but ironic notion at this human moment featured everything from stunt bikes to intricate light shows as it tried to convey a “celebratory and liberating” atmosphere for athletes after a tense two weeks.

It was set to pivot to a live feed from Paris, host of the 2024 Summer Games. And with that, the strangest Olympic Games on record began closing their books for good.

Held in the middle of a resurging pandemic, rejected by many Japanese and plagued by months of administrative problems, these Games presented logistical and medical obstacles like no other, offered up serious conversations about mental health and, when it came to sport, delivered both triumphs and a few surprising shortfalls. From the outset, expectations were middling at best, apocalyptic at worst. Even Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said he’d worried that these could become the Olympic Games without a soul. But on Friday he said that what we have seen here is totally different.

“You could experience and feel and see and hear how much they enjoyed being together here again,” Bach said.

At these Games, even the word together was fraught. Spectators were kept at bay. A patchwork of rules kept athletes masked and apart for much of medal ceremonies, yet saw them swapping bodily fluids in some venues. That was less about being remiss than about being real: Risks that could be mitigated were, but at the same time events had to go on.

Athletes’ perseverance became a central story. Mental health claimed bandwidth as never before, and athletes revealed their stories and struggles in vulnerable, sometimes excruciating fashion. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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