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Closing ceremony of 2016 Rio Olympics held in Brazil
   2016-08-22 14:54:12    Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhang Xu

Flag bearer of Chinese Olympic delegation Ding Ning(4th R) enters the stadium at the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 21, 2016. [Photo: Xinuua]   

Special: 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Related: Lang Ping bringing back volleyball's golden age in China

After 16 days of sporting excitement, the first ever Olympic Games in South America came to an end in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

 

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach officially closed the Games, calling them "marvellous."

"I declare the games of the 31st Olympiad closed¡­Bye-bye Rio."

The 207 delegations of athletes, including a group of independent Olympic athletes, paraded through Maracana Stadium.

The Refugee Olympic Team was also among them.

This team consisted of athletes from countries such as Syria, South Sudan and DR Congo. Representing more than 60 million refugees around the world, they competed under the Olympic flag in various events including swimming, judo and track and field.

"Okay, for me I'm really happy, because this is the first time for me to compete in the Olympics. I've just trained for nine months, this is just a great opportunity."

More than ten thousand athletes took part in the 2016 Olympic Games. Medals were won by competitors from a record 87 different nations. Bach said excellent performances from the world's top athletes contributed greatly to the success of the Games.

"We have seen iconic athletes accross all the sports, we have seen athletes who were already icons when they came here and they strengthened their position as icons -- like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt -- and we have seen athletes who have become icons here. We have experienced our iconic stories in these Olympic Games. We had athletes from Ukraine and Russia hugging each other and congratulating each other and helping each other. We have seen athletes from South and North Korea taking selfies together."

Closing ceremonies in Rio included a massive fireworks display, as well as a series of Brazilian-themed spectacles.

Despite steady rain on Sunday, thousands of fans still found their way to Maracana stadium to watch the closing ceremony.

Sandy Yeng is one of the Chinese fans.

"I think it's almost as good as the opening ceremony, but nothing could compare with the opening ceremony, and I love how it turned out to be a great party that everyone enjoyed. I had videos filming like when the music is up everyone is standing up and dancing, including the Chinese group in front of us, which is rare, because we are known as more conservative and reserved, but it's great that the passion is really affecting us, so it's wonderful."

Chinese table tennis player Ding Ning, who won gold in the women's singles event, was the flag-bearer for the Chinese delegation.

In four years' time, it will be Tokyo's turn to host the Summer Olympics.

After an introductory film featuring Japanese sports stars and familiar characters from cartoons, a famous figure from the world of video games emerged into the stadium-it was Super Mario, later revealed to be Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In 2020, five sports will be introduced in the Olympics --- softball/baseball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing - for a grand total of 33 sports.       

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