TOKYO (WAVY) — After a year-long delay due to COVID-19, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games have officially come and gone.
The games, unlike any other, came to a close during the closing ceremony on Sunday night. The Olympic organizers wanted to reflect on the games that they hoped would unite the world.
It started with the flag bearers, including USA’s Kara Winger, proudly waving their nation’s flag. Each flag bearer entered and united in a circle.
The athletes followed, but instead of walking out country by country, they walked out all at once. The move was meant to be a symbol of solidarity after weeks of competition.
However, the number of athletes walking into the arena was significantly smaller from past closing ceremonies. Athletes were given strict instructions to leave 48 hours after they competed, due to the pandemic.
Nevertheless, there was joy on the faces of these Olympians. And there was good reason to be joyful.
The United States ended the games with a record 113 medals.
The festivities included a medal ceremony for the winners of the women’s and men’s marathons. Plus, there was a special tribute to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the Tokyo Olympics happen.
And then the torch was passed, as is tradition, to the host of the next summer games. This year, the torch was passed to the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, ahead of the Paris 2024 games.