Paris 2024: In a first, closing ceremony of Olympic Games features celebrations from next host city

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Tokyo: The Tokyo Olympic Games came to end after a stunning closing ceremony at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

After more than two weeks of thrilling competition with manifold twists and turns, the Olympic flag was ceremonially lowered and handed over by the Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike to Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, via the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

The Closing Ceremony of the Games, which ran for 17 days saw participation from athletes from over 200 countries.

A display of beautiful, luminous colours swirled together to represent the many flags of the world. They formed the Olympic Rings signifying a "timeless symbol of unity.""The Olympic spirit is in all of us," Olympics tweeted.

The phrase "ARIGATO" was displayed on the LED screens in the Olympic Stadium, in the same font that was used to spell out "SAYONARA" at the Closing Ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Once the Games were declared as closed, the Olympic flame was extinguished.

"Our deep gratitude and appreciation go to the Organising Committee. Nobody has ever organised postponed Olympic Games before," said IOC chief Bach.

"And now, I have to mark the end of this most challenging Olympic journey to Tokyo: I declare the Games of the 32nd Olympiad closed.

"In accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of the world to assemble three years from now in Paris, France, to celebrate with us the Games of the 33rd Olympiad," he added

Earlier during the ceremony, wrestler Bajrang Punia entered the stadium holding aloft India's flag and joined flag-bearers of other national Olympic contingents during the closing ceremony.

Punia along with flag bearers of other countries walked into the centre of the stadium and formed a ring around a dias as the whole area lit up to celebrate the hard work of everyone associated with the Tokyo Olympics that witnessed sporting excellence across 33 sports.

This year the Games were held with COVID-19 induced restrictions and all sports were played behind closed doors.

About 11,000 athletes from over 200 countries competed in Tokyo Olympics. India recorded its best-ever haul at the Olympics with seven medals (one gold, two silver, and four bronze).

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra bagged a gold medal for India on Saturday and as a result, India registered its first-ever gold in athletics at the Games.

Bajrang (bronze), Mirabai Chanu (silver), PV Sindhu (bronze), Lovlina Borgohain (bronze), men's hockey team ( bronze), and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (silver) have also won medals in the Tokyo Games.

Also, for the first time ever, the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games featured "live and spectacular" celebrations from the next host city of the mega sporting event on Sunday.People of Paris and France embraced their role as hosts of the Games during the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.

For the first time ever in a handover ceremony at the Olympic Games, the national anthem of the next host country was delivered on film as part of Paris 2024's presentation. (ANI)

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