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rio-closing-ceremony-olympics-handover-yuriko-koike_3770057The Rio Olympics ended with a beautiful and spectacular closing ceremony on Sunday night. It ended officially with the handing over of control for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Spectators, athletes and officials had to brave strong wind and rain to attend the carnival-inspired ceremony.

The ceremony featured parades, dances, and performances by Samba legend Martinho da Vila, electronic music artist Kygo and singer Julia Michales.

“These were a marvellous Olympics, in a marvellous city,” International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach reportedly said. “Over the last 16 days a united Brazil inspired the world, in difficult times for all of us, with its irresistible joy for life.”

Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes returned the Olympic flag to Bach, who then handed it over to Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike which officially signaled the transition to the 2020 Olympics. Tokyo then stole the show with their own impressive showcase. Popular fictional characters including Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Pac-man and Mario from Nintendo’s famous Mario game franchise all made an appearance.

It was a spectacular show from Rio, whose country was clouded in controversy in the Games. Problems surrounding economic mishaps, security concerns, the Zika virus and stunted preparation added issues to the games.

Rio 2016 organizing committee president Carlos Arthur Nuzman said: “The Games in Rio is a great challenge, but a challenge with success. I am proud of my country, my city and my people. Rio has delivered history.”

Gold medalist Simone Biles carried the U.S. flag during the ‘Heroes of the Games’ segment at the closing ceremony. The ceremony ended with a confetti and fireworks show.

The last few days of the competition continued to be action-packed, and led to a great finale of the games.

Usain Bolt did it again, making him nine for nine. In his final Olympic event, the sprinting icon surged away and sealed the 4×100-meter relay for Jamaica. This was his third gold medal for the third time – a perfect record.

The U.S. men were disqualified in the 4×100 -meter relay, however the American women went on to dominate. The U.S. won their sixth consecutive gold medal in the 4×400 relay beating out Jamacia and Great Britain.

Brazil beat Germany in a penalty shoot-out to end their long wait for an Olympic Games football gold medal. After a 1-1 draw in normal time, and no goals in the extra 30 minutes, Brazil’s Neymar stepped up to score the winning spot-kick and seal a 5-4 shoot-out win after goalkeeper Weverton had saved Germany’s fifth penalty.

The United States women’s water polo team became the first group to win consecutive Olympic gold medals, defeating Italy 12-5 in the final. While the U.S. women’s basketball team claimed its sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal on Saturday.

U.S. topped the final medal table winning 121 medals in total: 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze medals.

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