The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, declared closed the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, stating Rio 2016 was "marvelous". The head of the IOC asserted these were “marvelous Olympic Games in a Marvelous City” and highlighted the “unique legacy” that according to him, the event will leave for future generations. 

Carlos Nuzman, second vice president of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee, President of the Olympic Committee of Brazil and President of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee participated in the ceremony.

Bach congratulated Brazil on the celebration of the Rio 2016 Games, which were “a celebration of the Olympic values’ diversity”. 

"Congratulations Brazil, we love you, Brazil. Thank you for your hospitality”, he asserted in his speech at the Maracana and ended with a "Bye, bye, Rio".

In addition to Brazil, Bach thanked the volunteers for their contribution to the Games’ celebration and the refugee athletes for “inspiring” the world. 

The president of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, Carlos Nuzman, said Rio de Janeiro “made history” and was “successful” in the “challenge” of hosting the Games. 

"Rio made history, it displayed its beauty and capacity to host the major event worldwide”, Nuzman said and underlined that every second devoted to its organization “was worth it”.

The closing ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games started at Maracana Stadium with a homage to Brazilian Santos Dumont, one of aviation’s pioneers.

The closing feast, which lasted two and a half hours, was created by the carnival’s director Rosa Magalhães and in it, Rio de Janeiro passed the baton to Tokyo 2020, the next host of the summer Olympic Games. 

Santos Dumont was in both ceremonies in Rio, due to the fact that he was also recognized in the Games’ opening with a simulated flight of the 14-Bis, the plane built by the Brazilian inventor, who made his first flight in 1906. 

Brazil reclaimed that Santos Dumont is the father of aviation, due to the fact that the 14-Bis was the first plane that took off and landed by its own means, three years after the Wright brothers did the same, but with a device that took impulse by going down a hill. 

The Rio 2016 closing ceremony counted as well with the presence of the athletes that participated in the Games, who entered the Maracana together, as a symbol of brotherhood between countries.

The feast was enlivened with samba from Carioca carnivals and various facets of Brazil’s popular culture were recognized as well. (Courtesy: EFE)


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