Rio 2016: The Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games has officially got underway.

Fireworks have just lit the Olympic Stadium up and with the roaring crowds comes a vibrant display of visuals and bold colours, including vibrant and energetic music that lights up the entire Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, including the iconic Rio logo formation.

The Olympic Rings have been formed in a multi-coloured energetic scene, with the stadium then going completely blue before the spotlight focuses on one of the musicians performing at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games Closing Ceremony.

This year’s Olympic Games by far has to be the best Olympic Games since the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and the best since the London 2012 Summer Paralympic Games.

The Olympic Rings flag has been raised, including Brazil’s flag with the name: “Ordem e Progresso” etched on to the flag. Ordem e Progresso stands for “Order & Progress“.

The athletes are officially making their way into the Olympic Stadium. Not a single sign of team separation this end and they have even come in together with a symbol of unity. The flag bearers have come in first and are streaming across the entirely length of this football pitch with Samba music added to lift the spirits for everyone involved with this year’s Summer Olympic Games.

The flags (Team GB‘s Kate Richardson-Walsh is in there) are walking the length of the field and then they turn to line the perimeter. When they are in position, the athletes will start to trickle in. A flag or a phone is highly likely to be in the hands of most, though Stephan Shemilt said he seemed to remember that Carl Lewis was once told off just for being on his mobile, but it was just the size of a house brick.

Hazel Irvine (BBC Sport Presenter): “We thought it could not get any better for Great Britain but it has. It is the first time a nation has boosted their medal tally in the next Games after one they hosted. With 27 golds, it was an extraordinary performance from Great Britain to finish above China. There were British medals in 19 different sports out of the 28.

Stephan Shemilt: “I can report that the improving weather has meant the ponchos have been eschewed. Or, at least they have been for most nations, I haven’t spotted any GB stars yet. The athletes are filing in to some white plastic seats, like we’re at the world’s biggest wedding. Here come France, currently the most enthusiastic.

Andrew Cotter (BBC Athletics Commentator): “This is like the awkward moment of the school dance when no one is mingling, but give it a bit of time.

Stephan Shemilt: “The French now seem to be doing some sort of street dancing. The Portuguese have scarves. Here come Great Britain, decked out in white tracksuits. The French dancing has caused a backlog. They are holding everyone up. The first sight of GB gives us a look at those flashing trainers, which light up red, white and blue. They’re ace, the sort you had when you were about nine.

Hazel Irvine: “Check out the flashing shoes on the British Olympians, the shoes flash red, white and blue. You won’t miss them.

Stephan Shemilt: “I’ll be honest, Team GB aren’t mixing it with the dance moves. France are wiping the floor with us in the movement stakes. However, Great Britain have the best shoes. Hands down.

Jason Mohammad (BBC Presenter in Rio de Janeiro): “GB women hockey. I’m a dad of a daughter who plays hockey and this victory will inspire her and millions of other boys and girls. Incredible achievement. Funny moment – Egypt beating Sweden in the Handball! Easily my best line of the Games. On TV “A Great Night For Egyptian Handball!” Boom!

Stephan Shemilt: “It’s smashing it down in Rio now. I hope the parading athletes have got ponchos in their pockets. While they continue their march, some ladies in green have begun to dance energetically. Each is holding an umbrella. It’s like an interpretive dance version of the weather forecast. I think we’re all a little intrigued as to what the fluffy yellow and green outfits could be part of. My guess is some sort of Sesame Street sketch.

Beth Tweddle (BBC Sport Gymnastics Expert & London 2012 Bronze Medallist): “It would definitely be Max Whitlock winning his two golds and for the pure fact it is the first time ever. Obviously also the overall results of the gymnasts and winning seven medals. I do also have to put in a mention for Mo Farah winning the double double and Adam Peaty winning gold.

Hazel Irvine: “We have learned so much about this fantastic part of the world and that is always a part of the experience of the Olympic Games. The venues have been superb and allowed the athletes to produce the performances that we will always remember. This is a proud sporting nation.

Stephan Shemilt: “I kid you not, the Canadians are wearing mittens. Red and white gloves with maple leaves. Is it that cold? Or is it just a nod to their Winter Olympic prowess? Now, Eilish McColgan did tweet earlier on to say how cold she is. Now she’s bailed out completely. That’s not the spirit, is it? It’s raining heavily enough for the ponchos to be required. Let’s be honest, no one looks cool in one of those plastic ponchos, do they? Just going back to Eilish McColgan, I wonder if she actually walked into the stadium. If she did, how did she get out? She would have to walk against the tide. There’s GB rower Helen Glover, getting very excited when she sees herself on the big screen.

Hazel Irvine: “This section of the parade was scheduled to last about 20 minutes.

Stephan Shemilt: “Stand by for something incredible…

Rebecca Adlington (Double Olympic Gold Medallist in Swimming): “My moment would be Michael Phelps in the 200 IM and just his week in general to be honest. What he’s done for the sport is huge but to make a comeback and achieve what he has is just something else. It’s incredible that I’ve seen an athlete like him in my lifetime and it was so nice to see the human side of him. Every performance is incredible but it was the joy and passion and his attitude after the races also. You could tell it just meant so much to him and that’s exactly the reason why he wanted to make a comeback. He can retire a very content happy man now.

Hazel Irvine: “There is plenty more to get through and there has been a bit of a hold-up while we get all these athletes in.

Stephan Shemilt: “It looks like all the athletes have made it in. Funnily enough, Ryan Lochte isn’t there. In the rain, we’re now getting down with some dance music. The stadium has gone dark, someone is carrying a miner’s lamp. This is The Art of the People. It looks a bit like something out of Indiana Jones.

Leon Taylor (Olympic Diving Silver Medallist): “Jack Laugher and Chris Mears winning GB’s first ever Olympic Gold in diving. I knew they were capable of a medal but when they won gold beating China into third it was an unexpected delight. As Chris summed it up when I asked him how are you feeling he said ‘confused!’ Awesome performance.

Stephan Shemilt: “We’re rattling through now, with big cheers coming as men and women decked in red dance in an amber glow. It’s still chucking it down. This section is called Bringing Clay To Life and pays tribute to the exportation of modelling clay. Clay must be one of those things that Rio and Stoke-on-Trent have in common. That and the scenery. Now we’re getting slightly strange, Hundreds of clay figures are dancing with one another. It reminds me a little of the Oompa Loompas in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – the Gene Wilder one. You know what, the clay dancers have received the biggest cheer of the night. Now the closing ceremony is reflecting on the best moments of the Games. I think they got the idea from us.

Clare Balding (BBC TV Presenter): “The women’s hockey team winning gold was one of the best ever moments in team sport, male or female. They were so committed and concentrated and I was hugely impressed with their calmness under pressure. Maddie Hinch was phenomenal in goal and with her skill and the bravery of all the outfield players I hope it’ll show the highly paid footballers in our Premier League what true sporting behaviour looks like. It was a first ever gold for women’s hockey and the perfect send-off for Captain Fantastic, Kate Richardson-Walsh after 13 years in charge.

Stephan Shemilt: “As is tradition, we’re going to have the medal ceremony for the men’s marathon, which was won today by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge. Feyisa Lilesa came second to take the silver, with American Galen Rupp collecting bronze. All three are walking like men who ran 26.2 miles earlier on. They’re getting a good deal, an audience of 80,000. Mo Farah had about 1,000 when he got his second gold last night. With a final medal ceremony, we get a last look at those ornaments that have been handed to the winners. I’ve seen them described as coloured jock straps, which I think is pretty accurate. Still belting it down. We’re being introduced to the new members elected to serve on the IOC Athletes’ Commission. Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva is among them…We’re getting into the meat of the pomp and circumstance here. The Greek flag is being raised and the national anthem played. Then the Olympic flag is lowered and handed over to Tokyo. Earlier on I said that the clay dancers had a look of Oompa Loompas. Have a look and decide for yourself…The governor of Tokyo gets her hands on the Olympic flag and give it a good wave. Not as much gusto as Boris Johnson in 2008. We’re now going to get a sneak peak of Japan’s offering in four years.”

Tokyo are showcasing at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games Closing Ceremony what they have to offer for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games and Pac-Man, the iconic maze pac-dot muncher has just made an appearance, so has the man with the iconic red M hat. “It’s-a-me. Mario!” and the Prime Minister of Japan wearing the iconic Mario hat has appeared in style by popping up through the iconic Green Pipe.

It’s not even 2020 and already I know that Tokyo have tons upon tons of energy and a lot of fun to offer come the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Another set of fireworks were set off and the celebratory Mario music used when a Mario level is completed also went in conjunction with the fireworks going off.

Stephan Shemilt: “I’m just thinking about how gutting it must be for Rio to hand over the Olympic flag. All that work over so many years, and now it’s over. In contrast, the excitement is just beginning for Tokyo. We’re getting some shots of the city and what we can expect. Bullet trains, glass buildings and Manga cartoons. It looks belting. This is outstanding. The Prime Minister of Japan has appeared out of Super Mario-style water pipe, wearing a Mario hat. We’re then treated to a hologram and light show. It’s already got me pumped for how good Tokyo will be. “See you in Tokyo” is the message, followed by bright fireworks shooting into the night sky. That’s may favourite part of the night so far. Speeches time. President of the organising committee Carlos Nuzman and IOC president Thomas Bach. There’s not many people watching fellas, so don’t be nervous.

Victoria Pendleton (Olympic Cycling Gold Medallist): “Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro winning individual dressage gold. It was a perfect performance and very emotional as it will probably be the last time they ride in a competition together. Charlotte knew the performance was good and welled up as soon as they finished. It made me well up too. I now understand the connection between horse and rider.

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee: “We have organised the most important event in the world. This is a magic place. It was a great challenge, but a challenge with great success. I’m proud of the city, my country and my people. All Brazilians are Olympic heroes. We celebrate together. You are the gold medal of the people on all the planet. Twenty-seven world records and 91 Olympic records. We have organised a marvelous Olympics in a marvelous city. When we won the Games I said Rio was ready to make history. Rio has delivered history. Good luck for Tokyo 2020.

Stephan Shemilt: “Hmmmm, it has been a bit soggy at the Maracana. So much so that some of the athletes called it a day before the end. There will be some wet Olympians at wrap parties all over Rio.

International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach: “Congratulations Brazil. Brazil, we love you. Thank you for your warm hospitality. For the last 16 days a united Brazil inspired the world. You have many reasons to be proud. These Olympic Games show diversity is an enrichment for everyone. These Olympic Games were a celebration of diversity. Together we can go even further. Together, we can aim higher. United in our diversity, we are even stronger. Thank you refugee athletes. You have inspired us with your talent and human spirit, you are a symbol of hope for millions of refugees in the world. We will continue to be at your side after these Olympics. These were a marvellous Olympic Games in THE marvellous city. These Games are leaving a legacy for generations to come. History will talk about the Rio before the Olympic Games and a much better Rio after the Olympic Games. We arrived in Brazil as guests, today we depart as your friends. You will have a place in our hearts forever. I declare the games of the 31st Olympiad closed. I call upon the youth of the world to assemble in Tokyo, Japan to celebrate the Games of the 32nd Olympiad. Bye, bye Rio.

Stephan Shemilt: “Stick with it, there’s only about 25 minutes to go. Remember the fluffy green and yellow outfits we saw earlier? They are out there now, joined by red and a hint of purple. This is a tribute to Rio and the musicality of its people. Basically, we’re having a carnival. I’ll be honest, it looked a little like dancing broccoli. Now, in front of the rotating sculpture that starred in the opening ceremony Mariene de Castro sings under a cascade of fake rain. I’m not sure that was needed this evening.

The Maracana beacon, which was lit by a flame at the start of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games has officially been put out, officially marking the end of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Hazel Irvine: “The men’s football final topped the lot. In 2014, Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany in the semi-final of their home World Cup. So, to win against Germany in the Maracana stadium was deeply and doubly meaningful for this nation. Add to that the fact that Neymar’s penalty secured for Brazil their sixth gold medal, which makes these the most ‘Golden” in the country’s history – and in their first home Games – and you have a heady cocktail of emotion, catharsis and unconfined joy, the likes of which I have seldom experienced. It was utterly glorious! It is the reason why I love the Olympics.

Stephan Shemilt: “The Olympics are officially closed, the flame has gone out, but Rio is still having a party. Samba, dancing, colours. Everything you would expect from a Brazilian knees-up. This will go long into the night, probably anywhere they are serving alcohol.

Dan Walker (BBC TV Presenter): “I go for Maria (hen party gatecrashers) because the Olympics is about sport but the event is about people. Brazil is a very different country now to the one it was when it was awarded the games. We were determined to use our spot on Copacabana beach to have some fun but also meet as many residents of Rio as possible and find out what the Brazilians thought about it all. Maria wandered by, we took a chance that she would be a good guest and she was brilliant. There have been some wonderful sporting moments during these games but I will never forget Maria De Cezar and I wish her and her husband-to-be every happiness.

Stephan Shemilt: “Where else would you see a famous bin man dancing with a super model? That’s what we’ve got here. Renato Sorriso, a superstar in Brazil, is moving his fast feet with Izabel Goulart. I’d be stunned if a snap of that isn’t in the papers tomorrow. This is top notch. Music, dancing, colour, a proper carnival. Floats are arriving the stadium, with confetti falling from the roof. It’s the party we wanted and a great send-off, what a closing ceremony should be.

Mark Chapman (BBC Sport Presenter): “I’ve got two moments. Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro hugging at the net after their epic final. A brutal game that had everything and at the end of their duel they demonstrated such respect and empathy for each other. And Usain Bolt and Andre de Grasse crossing the line and smiling at each other. Sport first and foremost should be fun. No other image captures the fun and enjoyment like this one.

Stephan Shemilt: “The athletes that have braved the rain are reaping the rewards, dancing to the samba beat. You’d struggle not to have a good time in this atmosphere. Here we go, more fireworks, white lights sweeping around the roof of the stadium, with a red heart then fired into the night. It’s an incredible display, the whole of Rio being illuminated with the reds, blues, whites and greens. Still the fireworks shoot, still we dance to the samba beat. It’s an incredible display and a helluva finale.

James Cracknell (Double Olympic Rowing Gold Medallist): “The best performance came from Alistair and Jonny Brownlee in the triathlon. They put themselves in the lead group in the swimming and when they realised Mola (the fast running Spaniard) wasn’t in the first group they drove the cycle group they were in – physically and verbally so they could distance Mola thus making his running speed irrelevant. Expending that much energy that early in the race could have gone wrong but they backed themselves, each other and their training.

Stephan Shemilt: “And that is that. The fireworks are over, but the music and dancing continues. The fans and the athletes will file out of the Maracana, slipping away into the Rio night. Those last 20 minutes were spectacular. I wonder how long the party will carry on in Rio tonight? The celebrations are perhaps only just getting started, but the flame has gone out. The Olympics are now Tokyo’s show. The BBC TV coverage has just closed with an outstanding montage to a quite brilliant cover of Feeling Good. Find it if you can. It gave me a little lump in the throat. And we’re nearly done. After 16 days, 11,303 athletes competing under 207 different flags for 306 gold medals, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games are over. That was the Rio Olympic Games. Now, they are done. See you in Tokyo.

We have officially reached the end of the road. What a perfect Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro has had, but most of all, what a perfect Summer Olympic Games that Great Britain has had, especially for Team GB. Thank you to Team GB for such a perfect Olympic Games, you’ve done myself and the whole of the United Kingdom proud.

But most of all, thank you so much everyone for staying up until after 3:00 AM or 4:00 AM, or even after 5:00 AM depending on your location and time zone for the live coverage of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games on Mother Nature, but now is the final time to say goodbye to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

I just wanted to say to all of you for the final time, thank you so much for a perfect Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and have a perfect night. See you in 2020 at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games!

Alex Smithson

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