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Goodbye, Rio; hello, Tokyo

2016-08-22 06:38

By (Agencies/Xinhua)




Goodbye, Rio; hello, Tokyo

Brazilian singer Mariene de Castro sings as rain extinguishes the Olympic flame during the closing ceremony for Rio Olympics at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 21, 2016. [Photo by Wei Xiaohao/chinadaily.com.cn]

RIO DE JANEIRO -- After 16 days of sporting excitement, the first ever Olympic Games in South America lowed its curtain in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

The International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach officially closed the Games he called "marvellous".

"These were marvellous Olympic Games in the marvellous city," he said.

"We arrived in Brazil as guests. Today we depart as your friends. You will have a place in our hearts for ever," he said in an earlier speech.

Rain and strong wind accompanied the festive closing ceremony in the iconic Maracana Stadium, seeing off an Olympic Games organized amid Brazil's worst economic recession since the 1930s and political crisis, which battled security scares and empty seats but nevertheless turned out a success. Two gold medals, from men's soccer and men's volleyball, brought a perfect ending to the host.

Rio 2016 president Carlos Nuzman went through an emotional speech.

"I am the happiest man alive," he said. "Let's celebrate together this great victory, this triumph of sport, of youth."

"The organizers' hard work laid foundation for the success of the Games. They tried their best to make improvement. We have so much new experience here that is hard to forget," said Liu.

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