The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, hit with a one-year delay due to the pandemic, concluded Sunday with a closing ceremony celebration that was both joyful and contemplative.
Athletes, masked and some donning the medals they won, filled the floor of the mostly empty Olympic Stadium, where they were met with a light show and musical performances from groups like the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. The number of athletes present was smaller than usual, given the pandemic-related requirement that athletes return home shortly after their final competition.
At the end of the ceremony, the Olympic torch will go out and Tokyo will hand over its hosting duties to Paris, the next city to hold the Summer Olympics, in 2024.Because of the delay in mounting the Tokyo Games, it'll be just six months before we start the Beijing Winter Olympics in February of 2022.
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Deepa Shivaram is a multi-platform political reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.
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