Tokyo hands Olympic flag to Paris

    Performers during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Reuters

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    Performers during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Reuters

    Tokyo handed over its Olympic flag to the mayor of Paris on Sunday, laying the groundwork for the next 2024 Games in a closing ceremony featuring park scenes from both cities, emphasizing human contact even as the pandemic continues.

    In Tokyo, athletes saw a surreal look at daily life in Tokyo on Sunday, when the closing ceremony was briefly turned into a grass park, BMX carriers and riders after weeks of pandemics.

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    The performers danced, skipped and played football, stirring and shaking the athletes, who gathered near the grass. The organizers said that the tent was intended to be able to “live Tokyo”.

    Closing was a normally bizarre closure to Games that were overthrown by the pandemic and then transformed by the drama of politics, sports and personal turmoil. The Tokyo Olympics were originally intended to show Japan’s recovery from a devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in 2011.

    After being postponed for a year, organizers said the Games would serve as a symbol of the world’s pandemic triumph. The races that took place without spectators and with the variants of COVID-19 rekindled, failed to triumph and the economically unexpected confrontation was Japan.

    Instead, the host country is loaded with a $ 15 billion bill, double what it initially expected and no tourist boom to offset.

    In Paris, several thousand fans waving the tricolor flag were huddled in a crowd of fans opposite the Eiffel Tower as the French capital prepared to take over the reins of Tokyo from Tokyo.

    Pop music erupted as Tokyo medals Teddy Rainer and Clarice Agbegenu took to the stage. Plans to carry a giant Olympic flag from the Eiffel Tower were abandoned due to strong winds.

    France promises 2024 Summer Olympics “for the people” after pandemics hit, without spectators the Tokyo Games. As a sign that these days are not close at all, however, public entry into the fan zone is only allowed by presenting a vaccine certificate or a negative COVID-19 test.

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