Cinema and Arts

Bye bye, Rio’: Olympics ends with splendid ceremony, handover to Tokyo

Bye bye, Rio’: Olympics ends with splendid ceremony, handover to Tokyo

RIO DE JANEIRO: Shaking to samba and sharing reflections in uniquely Brazilian ways, Olympians and fans said goodbye to the Rio Games with one last big bash that was both revelatory and a sigh of relief.

The Rio Games, the first in South America, were a 16-day spectacle that combined numerous highlight reel moments with ugly and even bizarre episodes that sometimes overshadowed the competitions. And Rio residents, known as Cariocas, were not about to let sporadic rains and strong wind gusts get in the way of a final hurrah.

“These were marvelous Olympic Games in the ‘marvelous city,'” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, playing off the “cidade maravilhosa” nickname of Brazil’s postcard city of inviting coastlines, year-round sun and lush tropical vegetation.

While the stadium erupted in applause at that designation, a few minutes later there were boos of sadness when he announced: “I declare the Games of the XXXI Olympiad closed.”

The closing ceremony in iconic Maracana Stadium was also meant to take care of some business – formally signaling the transition to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. But Sunday’s party was all about Brazil, designed to be more low-key than the opening, which focused heavily on Rio.

The ceremony featured original footage of Alberto Santos Dumont, the man that Brazilians recognize as the inventor of the airplane. The theme, “Brazilians can do with their bare hands,” was a nod to the emerging economy of the world’s fifth most populous nation.

Dressed in colorful feathers, dozens of dancers formed in the shape of the arches of Lapa, a popular area of Rio akin to Roman ruins, then morphed to make the shape of iconic Sugarloaf before quickly changing again, this time to the official 2016 symbol. Samba legend Martinho da Vila, whose tunes make their way into many popular telenovelas, sang “Carinhoso,” or “Affectionate.”

The athletes poured in under light rain, waving their flags while many shook their bodies to samba-infused pop that made the stadium feel like a Carnival parade. Britain’s athletes wore shoes with soles that lit up in changing colors of red, white and blue, while Tongan taekwondo athlete Pita Taufatofua danced onstage in a grass skirt as a DJ performed, reprising a moment that captured attention when he carried the flag for his country during the opening ceremony.

The show widened its lens to greater Brazil, a massive country with a land mass slightly larger than the continental United States. There was a tribute to cave paintings of some of the first inhabitants of the Americas, in Serra da Capivara, in Northeastern Brazil, today the nation’s poorest region.

Spectators got to see performers shake it to frevo, a frenetic dance that – if it’s even possible – makes high-octane samba seem like a staid ballroom affair. Holding small umbrellas, dancers jumped and marched while performing acrobatics. They shook it to “Vassourinhas,” which means “small brooms,” a popular song that was also the name of a famous club in the northeastern city of Recife.

The show also built performances around “saudade,” which means anything from longing for someone to sadness to remembering good times. It is one of the most important words in Brazilian Portuguese. Lights flashed translations for the word in many languages, and a group of women sang “Mulher Rendeira,” or “Lace-making Woman,” a nod to the country’s African heritage. Brazil was the last country in the Americas to outlaw slavery, in 1888.

The games had many memorable moments, both for Brazilian competitors at home and athletes from around the world.

Soccer-crazed Brazil got partial payback against Germany, winning gold two years after a 7-1 World Cup semifinal shellacking that left many in Latin America’s largest nation fuming. American gymnast Simone Biles asserted her dominance with four golds, swimmer Michael Phelps added five more to up his staggering total to 23 and the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, put on his usual show with three golds just days before turning 30 years old.

But there were also ugly episodes, like American swimmer Ryan Lochte’s fabricated story about a harrowing robbery that was actually an intoxicated-fueled vandalism of a gas station bathroom, and bizarre issues like Olympic diving pools going from crystal blue to gunky, algae green – at a time when Rio’s water quality in open waters is one of the biggest local environmental issues.

There’s widespread expectation that the games in Tokyo, one of the world’s richest, most recognizable, cosmopolitan cities, will run more smoothly than they have in Rio. But there’s also worry in Japan over whether the Olympics will eventually further drag down an economy that has been struggling for decades.

The governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, accepted the flag from International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, signaling the transition. Many people, from Brazilians to IOC members, will analyze how things went for the Rio Games in the months ahead. But on Sunday, one strong sentiment was relief – that despite some problems, overall the games went well.

That wasn’t a given going in. The Zika virus scared away some competitors and tourists, rampant street crime in Rio and recent extremist attacks around the world raised fears about safety and Brazil’s political crisis, and the economic angst behind it, threatened to cast a pall over the competitions.

“We are very resilient, we didn’t leave anything important unaddressed,” said Augusta Porto, 36, a translator and Rio resident. “We can welcome people despite the serious problems that we have faced in the recent past.”

Online Source

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

Cinema and Arts

More in Cinema and Arts

Kangana Ranaut injured on the sets of Manikarnika

Kangana Ranaut injured on the sets of Manikarnika

The Indian TelegraphNovember 23, 2017
Padmavati controversy: Isn’t it the government’s job to prevent threats to filmmakers, asks Shyam Benegal

Padmavati controversy: Isn’t it the government’s job to prevent threats to filmmakers, asks Shyam Benegal

The Indian TelegraphNovember 20, 2017
Gal Gadot confirms Brett Ratner is not working on the Wonder Woman sequel

Gal Gadot confirms Brett Ratner is not working on the Wonder Woman sequel

The Indian TelegraphNovember 16, 2017
Esha Gupta knows how to slay like a boss even from a hospital bed, see photo

Esha Gupta knows how to slay like a boss even from a hospital bed, see photo

The Indian TelegraphNovember 13, 2017
Mahira Khan on her leaked photos with Ranbir Kapoor: I am human, I make mistakes

Mahira Khan on her leaked photos with Ranbir Kapoor: I am human, I make mistakes

The Indian TelegraphNovember 8, 2017
Ranveer Singh: Playing an anti-hero in Padmavati is a risky move

Ranveer Singh: Playing an anti-hero in Padmavati is a risky move

The Indian TelegraphNovember 7, 2017
Bhumi Pednekar’s mother on turning producer: I came into films because of my daughter

Bhumi Pednekar’s mother on turning producer: I came into films because of my daughter

The Indian TelegraphNovember 2, 2017
Happy Birthday Arjun Bijlani: Interesting facts about this small screen superstar

Happy Birthday Arjun Bijlani: Interesting facts about this small screen superstar

The Indian TelegraphOctober 31, 2017
Amitabh Bachchan and 6 others get notice from BMC for illegal construction

Amitabh Bachchan and 6 others get notice from BMC for illegal construction

The Indian TelegraphOctober 26, 2017
Salman Khan’s Bharat to arrive on Eid 2019. Here’s everything to know about the film

Salman Khan’s Bharat to arrive on Eid 2019. Here’s everything to know about the film

The Indian TelegraphOctober 25, 2017
Happy birthday, Mallika Sherawat: Here are 7 most iconic looks of the actor

Happy birthday, Mallika Sherawat: Here are 7 most iconic looks of the actor

The Indian TelegraphOctober 24, 2017
Here’s why Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge works even 22 years after its release

Here’s why Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge works even 22 years after its release

The Indian TelegraphOctober 20, 2017
Secret Superstar Sexy Baliye BTS video: Here’s how Sanya Malhotra and Mika Singh made Aamir Khan dance

Secret Superstar Sexy Baliye BTS video: Here’s how Sanya Malhotra and Mika Singh made Aamir Khan dance

The Indian TelegraphOctober 17, 2017
Karan Johar on Yash and Roohi’s first Diwali: It is a big moment for us

Karan Johar on Yash and Roohi’s first Diwali: It is a big moment for us

The Indian TelegraphOctober 14, 2017
Ranveer Singh pens heartfelt note after overwhelming response to Padmavati trailer. Read it here

Ranveer Singh pens heartfelt note after overwhelming response to Padmavati trailer. Read it here

The Indian TelegraphOctober 10, 2017
Beyond A Boundary

Beyond A Boundary

The Indian TelegraphOctober 2, 2017
A biopic on Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj in the works

A biopic on Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj in the works

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 26, 2017
Anil Kapoor is defying the laws of ageing in his latest photo

Anil Kapoor is defying the laws of ageing in his latest photo

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 20, 2017
Tom Alter suffering from fourth stage cancer, son says ‘he is showing will to battle it out’

Tom Alter suffering from fourth stage cancer, son says ‘he is showing will to battle it out’

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 12, 2017
A six-year-old kid loves Sachin: A Billion Dreams, writes sweet note to Sachin Tendulkar

A six-year-old kid loves Sachin: A Billion Dreams, writes sweet note to Sachin Tendulkar

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 8, 2017
After Sussanne Khan, now Apurva Asrani has something indirect to say about Kangana Ranaut?

After Sussanne Khan, now Apurva Asrani has something indirect to say about Kangana Ranaut?

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 4, 2017