When is Closing Ceremony? What to Expect and How to Watch

When is Closing Ceremony? What to Expect and How to Watch
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When is Closing Ceremony? What to Expect and How to Watch

When is Closing Ceremony? What to Expect and How to Watch

Details of the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony are being closely watched before it begins. And the coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot. 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).

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. It’s like one of the last rooms of the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland. You will probably notice that for the most part the athletes are grouped roughly by nation anyway.

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.

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?

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, and you can book him: he will be presented as a former gold medalist fencer.

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.

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During the Rio ceremony, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed up disguised as Super Mario from the popular Nintendo video game franchise. In Pyeongchang, Beijing offered pandas. Maybe some can-can girls and an Edith Piaf act this time around?

There is usually a medal ceremony at the closing ceremony, usually the men’s marathon, which will be held early Sunday morning in Sapporo.

In Sochi, Russian authors were honored. In Rio, it was the lace industry that was praised, for whatever reason. What will Tokyo offer?

In addition to the hymn of the winner of the marathon, we could very well obtain the hymns of Japan, France and Greece (the cradle of the Games). They will also probably play the “Olympic anthem” and urge those in the stadium to stand up, as if the Olympics are a real country.

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.

As at the Opening Ceremony and pretty much every sporting event, there will be no fans on site, although members of the media and various bigwigs will be allowed in. The sentiment of those present at the opening ceremony was, at least in part, inevitably melancholy, and it will be difficult to shake that sensation, no matter how much razzmatazz on offer.

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There might not be the typical type of show you might call “hundreds of people pouring out onto the stadium floor and taking shapes.” The opening ceremony was decidedly reduced in terms of the mass of participants.

Also unlike many recent Olympics, NBC will not hold the broadcast of the event hostage for 12 hours to US viewers. It will be broadcast live, then rebroadcast in prime time.

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