The 2020 Tokyo Olympics just ended, leaving in its trail some fantastic moments that will be remembered for a long time. The greatest show on earth was held amidst a lot of uncertainty, owing to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. Though participants from all corners of the world gathered to showcase their sporting talents on the world stage, the stadiums were mostly vacant, keeping the protocols in mind. However, the whole world witnessed through their television screens, a spectacular show that comes in every four years. Though a year late, people waited for the Olympics this time with bated breath. The closing ceremony was held on the night of August 8th, 2021 at the vacant National Stadium.
It Reflected The Best Of Japanese Culture
A ska band from Japan grabbed eyeballs, owing to a musical medley. The trick cyclists, along with a large group comprising of dancers gathered at the center of the arena. That portion of the stadium was transformed into a popular park in Tokyo with the help of a temporary lawn. It’s a pity that all the athletes who had traveled to Tokyo to participate in the Olympics, couldn’t move around and travel to tourist spots in the city because of the restrictions. Instead, a park’s replica of some sort was put up.
The reason was to give the participants a small feel of what they missed. The performance mainly reflected the traditional culture of Japan, especially an interpretive dance was held to showcase the culture of the Ainu people – natives of Japan. Obon is a popular summer festival in the country. A song sequence referring to it was also one of the main events of the night. The other events which brought life and energy to the closing ceremony included an interlude by DJ Matsunaga and another one by a taiko drummer.
However, very similar to the opening ceremony, the program lacked that zing which is pretty much expected from an Olympics closing ceremony. The main reason was probably a vast, empty stadium that overshadowed the brilliance of the performers. The lack of people in the stands somehow prevented them from generating a party-like electric atmosphere that everyone is so used to seeing. They are not to be blamed.
It’s the emptiness all around that overpowered their hard work. The traditional parade that’s usually a treat to watch was quite thin as compared to the previous years. Competitors were instructed to get back to their countries within 2 days of their event. Therefore, only a small portion was left behind. They had their events on the final day and had no choice but to stay back for the night.
Tokyo Olympics Was A Huge Success Amidst The Pandemic Situation
The 2024 Olympics will be held in Paris. Therefore, there was an official handoff as well that made the affair a bit more somber. A live feed from Paris showed a lot of people assembling in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower to celebrate the handoff. This was in stark contrast to the gloomy mood in Tokyo. The colors of the French flag all over the Paris sky, formed from the smoke of the fighter jets swooping above, was a sight to behold.
Thomas Bach, the chairman of the International Olympic Committee thanked every participant who had turned up at the Olympics for giving the world a ray of hope in these trying times. The pandemic has crippled many countries, destroyed economies, and took millions of lives in its grasp. In this scenario, the gutsy participation of performers from all corners of the world, as well as the resilience of the people of Japan stood in the way of COVID-19 which made the 2020 Olympics a success. Mr. Bach expressed his gratitude towards everyone who has played a role, small or big.
All Precautions Were Taken
The Organizers took countless steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the athletes, as well as the coaching and the support staff. They made sure that a certain distance was maintained between the competitors and the general public. As per the International Olympic Committee, 571,000 tests were conducted and only 0.02 percent were reported to be Covid-19 positive. Kudos to them for doing the right thing at the right time.
However, if reports are to be believed, there has been a surge in coronavirus cases in Japan, owing to the spread of the Delta variant. The city’s hospitals are having a tough time managing those who are getting admitted. Hopefully, the government will come up with steps to restrict the spread soon enough.