Here’s what to watch for at the closing ceremony.
Details of the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony are being closely watched before it begins. But based on the closing ceremonies of the recent past, we can still safely predict some of what we’ll see as of 8 p.m. Tokyo time Sunday night (7 a.m. EST). Follow our live updates here.
The athletes will arrive together.
Unlike the Opening Ceremony, when the athletes parade by country, they enter the stadium en masse during the Closing Ceremony, symbolically indicating that we are all one people.
Expect fewer athletes than in the past. During these Games, for reasons related to the pandemic, athletes are invited to leave Japan 48 hours after their last event. So many of your favorites may have already flown home.
There will be music.
Samba in Rio de Janeiro, Britpop in London, the music of the host country normally occupies an important place in the closing ceremony. Could this be a moment for a J-pop group like AKB48?
There will be speeches.
Several dignitaries will praise these Games in particular and the Olympic movement in general. Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, will be one of them.
Paris will get a segment.
The next host always has around 10 minutes to put on their own mini-show. Paris will therefore have a turn before the 2024 Games.
There will be a medal ceremony.
There is usually a medal ceremony at the closing ceremony, usually the men’s marathon, which takes place early Sunday morning in Sapporo.
The flame will go out.
There will be a moment, perhaps with solemn music, when the flame of the Olympic cauldron will be extinguished. And then the long wait until the start of the next Games. Uh, in six months in Beijing.
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