Sunday, August 21, 2016

OLYMPIC Ending and Teaser: RIO 2016 and Tokyo 2020

Two weeks have come and gone, and on Monday August 22 the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, aka the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio has come to a rainy yet brightly colored end. Despite the drizzle, the less-than packed seats of Maracaña Stadium and the reduced number of Olympians still present to participate at the venue, the festivities went one as close to schedule as possible.

As covered by major media sources in NBC (official Olympic coverage), CNN, The Guardian and others, The Closing Ceremony was full of dancers in bright regalia reminiscent of Carnival, as they escorted the remaining Olympic athletes mingling with one another onto the center of the stadium, led by a stand-in for the famous Brazilian samba dancer and Hollywood actress Carmen Miranda.

The first significant portion of the event is the medal ceremony for the men’s marathon, the traditional closing event of the Summer Olympics. All big smiles were the winners: Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya for Gold, Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia for Silver, and Galen Rupp of the United States for Bronze.

Following that was the launch of the Olympic Channel, an online video TV service that would serve to maintain year-round interest in the Olympic Games between Olympiads, with recorded coverage of Olympic events and features on famous Olympians. It will be streamed by NBC Sports Group subsidiary Playmaker Media, and while international in scope at the beginning of operations, if proven successful the Channel will have multiple national versions. The launch was punctuated by the performance of Norwegian DJ Kygo.

Next was the formal handover of the Olympic flag to the next host city: Tokyo for the year 2020, as represented by its newly elected governor Yuriko Koike dressed in formal kimono. Immediately there came a teaser feature of what to expect in the next Summer Games, including a fanciful video of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe still in Tokyo, running late for the ceremony. He solves this by transforming into one of the most famous video game characters of all, Super Mario, and travels by his game’s trademark warp pipes all the way from Japan to Brazil, where he emerges in the end pipe right at the Maracaña, back to his normal self. The Prime Minister then showcases the events to watch out for in Tokyo 2020, represented by cool 3d holograms.

From this point, the ceremony was winding down with speeches from the Rio Olympic Committee president Carlos Arthur Guzman and IOC President Bach. Afterwards the Olympic Flames was snuffed out in its artistic cauldron, signaling the end of the ceremony proper.

As fireworks exploded in the sky and the music played for everyone in attendance to dance to,the time has come to say goodbye to Brazil and Rio de Janeiro for being gracious hosts to the Olympics even with the many problems along the way. And the year 2020 can’t come soon enough for Tokyo’s second turn at the Olympic games.

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