Even the rain & wind could not dampen the festivities at the closing ceremony. The whole event was a colourful celebration & had a Mardi Graz atmosphere. The spectacular was held at the Maraca Stadium football stadium in Rio & celebrated the many Brazilian cultures & honoured all Olympiads, past & present.

There was a tantalising preview of what the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has in store for us. This included a video presentation featuring cartoon icons like, Pac-Man & Hello Kitty. It culminated in a clip that transformed Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe into the Nintendo character “Mario” until he popped up from a “warp pipe” in the middle of the stadium as himself again. The presentation also high-lighted Japan’s electronic culture & was performed by gymnasts from the Aemori University.

The Olympic flame was doused by a waterfall of water & accompanied by a beautiful song sang by Mariene de Castro, who was soaking wet by the end of her rendition.

In the closing minutes the stadium erupted with the sounds & gyrations of the Rio carnival. All eyes were on super international Brazilian model, Izabel Goucart & a massive float that featured larger than life tropical birds & a group of scantily clad ladies.

The whole event was spectacular & culminated in an amazing pyrotechnics display. All in all the Rio 2016 Olympics were a success & a lot of the risks that were predicted, did not rear their ugly heads.

All our South African Olympiads will be returning to their home ground in the next couple of days. I hope that they all get a hero’s welcome & that we as a country appreciate the hard work & sacrifices our team has made to represent us.

 Ten medals are definitely not too shabby.  Well done South Africa!!!

Now we know that there was a 2016 Rio Summer Olympics closing ceremony but the curtain has yet to fall. From the 7th – 18th September we can enjoy the 2016 Rio Paralympics. We can’t wait to see the outcome and are so glad that it isn’t over just yet.

Written by: Felicity Loopstra

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