Curtain falls for Olympics in Tokyo as Paris takes over



The Tokyo Olympics concluded on Sunday at the closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.

A total of 339 events of 33 different sports were all finished without much interruption amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Team China has won a total of 38 gold, 32 silver and 19 bronze medals, ranking the second after Team USA on the medal table.

Sprinter Su Bingtian, who made history by becoming the first Chinese athlete to reach men's 100m final, bore the flag for China at the closing ceremony. He's second Chinese track and field athlete to do so following legendary Liu Xiang who won men's 110m hurdles gold for China in the Summer Olympics in 2004 in Athens.

Some of the athletes already returned home so the delegations of the participating teams on Sunday were relatively smaller than those at the opening ceremony.

After a series of performances filled with thick Japanese culture and characteristics, the Olympic flag was lowered down to the hands of Yuriko Koike, governor of Tokyo. Koike gave it to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who then passed it on to Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris.

Paris will host the Summer Olympics in 2024, of which the French capital city gave notice in a clip that sent a passionate welcome to the rest of the world.

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo Olympic committee, gave a speech at the closing ceremony.

"The footprint that you drew in Tokyo was a wonderful sight that no words can describe. Please don't forget what you see now. Please don't forget this scenery, and continue to tell your story to the future with confidence and pride in what you have accomplished. The torch that was lit in Tokyo is about to be extinguished. But the hope that we have gathered here will never fade. I hope that this hope will light up in the hearts of people all over the world," said Hashimoto.

Bach spoke after Hashimoto and expressed gratitude to everyone for making the Tokyo Games happen, despite of one-year postponement.

"You were faster, you went higher, you were stronger because we all stood together – in solidarity. This was even more remarkable given the many challenges you had to face because of the pandemic. In these difficult times, you give the world the most precious of gifts: hope. For the first time since the pandemic began, the entire world came together," said Bach.

The 67-year-old IOC chief declared the end of the 32nd Olympic Games before the Olympic flames were put out.