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Aug 9, 2021

Olympics: Sayonara Tokyo, Bonjour Paris

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Paris

After over a year of uncertainty and struggle, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 finally saw. The Games come to a close Sunday saying “Sayonara Tokyo, Bonjour Paris !!!”

The world’s greatest athletes gathered in eerily empty venues for the 32nd edition of the Summer Games that was delayed for a full year by the COVID-19 pandemic and chock full of enduring and unprecedented scenes.

Logo of Tokyo Olympics

Thousands of people partied in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower on Sunday to watch the closing ceremony of the delayed 2020 Olympics and celebrate the French capital’s status as host of the 2024 showpiece.

The contrast was dramatic after the Tokyo Games played out in mostly empty stadia and under strict Covid-19 protocols.

As the Olympic games conclude in Tokyo, the next city to host, Paris, has already started its celebration.

The 33rd Summer Olympics 2024 is scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024 in Paris, France.

During the closing ceremony on Sunday, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo received and waved an Olympic flag in the Tokyo stadium, a traditional pass to the next city. But the celebration then had a few twists to how the handover is usually done.


Paris will host the 2024 Olympics. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, right, holds the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. Lee Jin-man/AP

French president Emmanuel Macron delivered short remarks, saying the updated Olympic motto: “Faster, Higher, Stronger. Together.” On stage near the Eiffel Tower were also French Olympic athletes who had returned from the Tokyo games.

Head of the 2024 organising committee, Tony Estanguet said “all the indicators are green.”

Tokyo is the first city in Asia to hold the Summer Games twice. The Summer Paralympics will be held between 24 August and 5 September 2021, 16 days after the completion of the Olympics.

The 2020 Games are the fourth Olympic Games to be held in Japan, following the Tokyo 1964 (Summer), Sapporo 1972 (Winter), and Nagano 1998 (Winter) games. 

The United States topped the medal count by both total golds (39) and total medals (113), with China finishing second by both respects (38 and 88). Host nation Japan finished third. Great Britain and Russia finished in fourth and fifth positions.

The world has been united once more through the power of sport and showed we are #StrongerTogether.

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