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Paralympics Closing Ceremony officially brings Tokyo 2020 to close Updated: 2021-09-06 05:57:00 KST


Held against all odds under the unprecedented circumstances of a global pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have finally come to an end.
At the Paralympic Closing Ceremony on Sunday evening, organizers extinguished the cauldron after formally passing the baton to the next host city, Paris, in a nearly empty Japan National Stadium in the Japanese capital.
A colorful ceremony of music, dance, fireworks and another Parade of Nations marked the end of nearly two weeks of Paralympic competition that saw China top the medal table with 96 gold medals and 207 medals overall.
In the words of International Paralympic Committee President, Andrew Parsons, the "athletes gave the world confidence, happiness and hope".
They broke records, won hearts, opened minds and changed lives.
The ceremony celebrated youth with performances including break dancing and BMX to roller skating and choir singing.
But the highlight was the erection of the "City Where Differences Shine", a model city landscape of Tokyo, where parading athletes affixed badge-like mirrors onto a replica Sky Tree lying on the ground before the tower was lifted to face Tokyo's night sky.
Among those watching the ceremony in attendance was Japan's Crown Prince Akishino.
The world's greatest athletes now start the arduous journey of preparing for the Paris Games scheduled to kick off on July 26th, 2024.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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