After 16 days of Olympic competition, it’s time to extinguish the flame in Tokyo and say goodbye to the host nation Japan. The Japanese will get a chance to celebrate their music and culture with several Closing Ceremony performances, and we’ll also hear from the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee and the IOC President.
The Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics is underway. Follow along for live updates:
Epic Light Show Displays Olympic Rings
After the athletes finished entering the stadium, a light show culminated in the display of the Olympic rings.
Team USA Enters Stadium For Closing Ceremony
Thirty-two minutes into the parade, the American team entered the stadium.
But you didn’t see every member of Team USA there — many big-name stars have already returned to the United States, as COVID protocol required athletes to depart Olympic Village within 48 hours of their final competition. So members of the swimming and gymnastics team, for example, have already left Tokyo.
Athletes Parade Into Closing Ceremony
Thousands of athletes from across the world paraded into the closing ceremony. Over 4,500 athletes representing 206 countries will process in, according to Tokyo organizers,
Many athletes were seen waving their national flags or capturing the moment with videos. Each nation put their own twist on the entrance, including Americans wearing all white, Canadians rocking custom jean jackets and plenty of athletes with medals around their necks.
Kara Winger Carries U.S. Flag into Stadium
After the raising of the Japanese flag, the flag bearer for each country entered the stadium — with the U.S. flag carried by Javelin thrower Kara Winger. Each country chooses its own flag bearer.
Once the flags are all in the stadium, athletes from all countries will enter together, en masse, in no particular order — a stark difference from the Opening Ceremony, when each athletes enter with their countrymen.
Athletes have been marching together in the Closing Ceremony since 1956.
Flag bearers entered to the Olympic March, written by Japanese composer Yuji Koseki. Athletes will enter to music by Fantastic Plastic Machine, KEIZOmachine!, Takeshi Nakatsuka and REMO-CON.
Takarazuka Revue Sings Japanese National Anthem
The Takarazuka Revue, a Japanese all-female musical theater group, performed the national anthem at the closing ceremony as the Japanese national flag was raised.
Team USA Selects Javelin Thrower Kara Winger as Flag Bearer
In her fourth and final Olympics, Kara Winger will have the honor of carrying the American flag into the Olympic Stadium for the last time during the Closing Ceremony.
The 35-year-old finished 17th in qualifying in her event and is captain of the U.S. Track and Field team.
Closing Ceremony Will Follow Official Schedule
Here’s the order of events you can expect at the Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremony:
- Entrance of the Head of State, Crown Prince Akishino, and IOC President, Thomas Bach
- Playing of the National Anthem
- Entry of Nations’ Flags
- Parade of Athletes
- Victory Ceremonies
- Introduction of the Athletes’ Commission’s Newly-Elected Members and Recognition of the Volunteers
- Moment of Remembrance
- Playing of the Greek National Anthem
- Lowering the Olympic Flag
- Flag Handover Ceremony
- Next Host City Creative Presentation
- OCOG President’s Speech
- IOC President’s Speech
- Extinguishing the Olympic Flame
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