Rio Olympics Closing Ceremonies

Olympics Closing Ceremony 2016: Best Moments From the Rio Games' Climax

All sambas have to end sometime, and on Sunday, the 2016 Summer Olympics came to a close at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Much like the games’ opening pageant, the closing ceremony played up the host nation’s culture and customs, featuring traditional Brazilian song and dance, as well as a moving flag-raising ritual and one heckuva fireworks display.

Halfway through the event, an edited version of which aired on NBC Sunday evening, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike accepted the Olympic flag, marking the official transition of the games to the Japanese city for 2020.

A few highlights from the ceremony:

* Gold-medal gymnast Simone Biles led the United States into the stadium during the Parade of Flags — and, naturally, was asked to pose for a picture with just about every athlete who entered the venue.

Rio Olympics Closing Ceremonies* Tongan athlete Pita Taufatofua made another shirtless, greased-up appearance, for which the world is very grateful.

* As Rio passed its Summer Olympic duties over to Tokyo, performers from the Japanese capital offered a taste of what we can expect in the 2020 opening ceremonies — and boy, was it cool. My personal favorite moment? Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerging from a giant Super Mario-inspired green pipe, dressed as the video-game plumber himself.

* After the games were officially closed by IOC President Thomas Bach, Brazilian musician Mariene de Castro took center stage — and, unperturbed by the rain falling around her, sang until the Olympic cauldron behind her had been completely extinguished.

* Last on the agenda: dance party! Inspired by Brazil’s annual Carnival festival, the remainder of the closing ceremonies was a blur of colorful costumes, enthusiastic musicians and — of course — a marathon samba.

What were your favorite moments from the closing ceremonies, and the Rio games overall? Hit the comments and tell us!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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30 Comments
  1. c-mo says:

    Mariene de Castro And the extinguishing of the flame. Not only was Ms de Castro very talented, she’s got fabulous hair!!!!!! This might have been my most favorite cauldron, I loved the swirling spheres, the sculpture as a whole was just stunning! Congratulations Brazil on a successful games!

  2. Kevin K says:

    The closing ceremony of the Olympics makes me feel so emotional. Can’t wait until 2020 for the next Summer games in Tokyo.

  3. Hellenic78 says:

    Really? Your first highlight Simone Biles?Ooooook.

  4. Darleen Hammond says:

    Love to know the name of the song mariena de castro sang ..was beautiful!

  5. Daya says:

    Please tell me I’m not the only one whose brain has spent the last two weeks calling it the “Macarena Stadium”. xD

  6. rosa says:

    The opening song and colorful display got me dancing in abandon

  7. Squirrelly says:

    Shinzo Abe didn’t rock a glorious mustache. That’s a deal-breaker!

  8. Rafaela says:

    Hey guys!
    The name of the song that Mariene de Castro sing is “Pelo tempo que durar” by Marisa Monte and Adriana Calcanhoto ;)

  9. Diane Kerwin says:

    The closing ceremony song sung by Mariene de Castro was so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Perfect song for the end of the summer games in Rio!

  10. jr. says:

    Finally! Now let’s get back to AGT and The Voice.

  11. Jake says:

    “a taste of what we can expect in the 2020”
    Cool wasn’t the word I’d use – more like typically Japanese odd. What were those things on the field which (the overhead shot which turned into an image of the Japanese flag) looked like the beachball robot from Star Wars? Were they supposed to be robots? What’s with the Japanese obsession with robots?
    The other thing with Mario was a little odd – looked like Abe was Oscar the Grouch emerging from a giant green garbage can.

  12. Lola says:

    My favorite part was Mario traveling from Tokyo to Rio via tunnel. I know I’m a dork.

  13. jless says:

    After the massive bad press, some deserved but mostly mean and overblown, The Rio Olympics was a delight, the people of Rio have to be proud, the first one in South America was a success. What a stunningly beautiful city. I hope the many problems in Brazil are gone soon, their beautiful people deserve to be governed by more honest and capable people.

  14. Akash Neelim says:

    Definitely the most beautiful moment was extinguishing of the flame, with Ms. de Castro performing that heart warming song!

  15. Doris kline says:

    Mariene decastro has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard

  16. TeeBird says:

    I like the “jazzy sounding” instrumental song that Tokyo came out and danced to during the closing ceremonies. Does anyone know the name and performers of that piece?

  17. Mary toles says:

    What song did mariene de castro sing it sound like one of madonna’s song take a bow

    • Angélica says:

      The name of the song that Mariene de Castro sing is “Pelo tempo que durar” by Marisa Monte and Adriana Calcanhoto ;)