After 16 days of unparalleled displays of grit, perseverance and the human spirit, dozens of broken records, breakthrough performances, the final races of two all-time greats, #PhelpsFace, a green pool and one ridiculous fabricated robbery story, the Rio Olympics came to a close Sunday with a festive Brazilian carnival inside the iconic Maracana Stadium.
The Closing Ceremony is always less formal and more low-key than the Opening one — a celebratory party for the Games and the accomplishments of the athletes, who all file in together. Five-time Olympic medalist and four-time gold medalist Simone Biles was the flagbearer for the United States, and everyone clamored for a selfie with her.
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There was, of course, business to be taken care of. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach declared the Rio Games closed, and Rio Mayer Eduardo Paes officially handed over the Olympic flag to Gov. Yuriko Koike of Tokyo, the host of the 2020 Olympics. During Tokyo's preview segment, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe morphed into Super Mario and arrived to the Closing Ceremony via a warp pipe, so this already makes Tokyo the best Summer Olympics ever.
Here are the 13 best photos from the Closing Ceremony.
1. Obrigado, Rio.
2. Birds of a feather dance together.
3. This place is lit.
4. The flag is twice Simone's size.
5. Who needs a hand?
6. Nothing can rain on their parade.
7. Shirtless Tonga guy is back!
8. Baby, you're a firework.
9. No, you're not on an acid trip.
10. Tokyo got next.
11. Is it 2020 yet?
12. Carnival time!
13. Rio knows how to throw a party.