Atlast, the three weeks of exhilarating sporting events will draw to a close today at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. As they did on the opening day, the organisers have promised the over one billion viewers expected to watch the closing ceremony from across the world exciting moments that will portray all that Brazil is known for.
The local Organising Committee (LOC) expect over 80,000 people to be at the Maracana Stadium to witness the end of South America’s first Olympic Games, which kicks off by 8.00 p.m. Rio time, which is 12.00 a.m. in Nigeria.While the opening ceremony cost about $4m to put together, tonight’s celebrations is expected to be no less grandiose, although the details is a closely guarded secret.
The organisers have made it clear that they are in no competition to outdo the previous hosts, but they promise that everything that is Brazilian would be poured into the ceremony. Coming about two hours after the final match of the football event between the hosts and Germany, there are speculations that renowned former soccer, Pele, who could not make the opening ceremony, will be part of the show today.
Pele’s spokesman, Pepito Fornos, said: “He is walking with a cane. The problem is that if he sits in a chair you need a winch to get him out of it. His doctor thought it best that he continues physiotherapy, that he rests and we hope that he will be able to appear at the (Olympic) closing ceremony. As stipulated by the IOC’s Olympic Charter, the event will include speeches and culminate with the extinguishing of the Olympic flame.
Before the Olympic flame is officially extinguished in Rio, the torch will be passed on to the hosts of the next Games in Tokyo 2020. Among the artistes expected to thrill the worldwide audience is Kygo, the Norwegian electronic tropical musician, who lived with his family in Brazil when he was younger. He is expected to perform “Carry Me” along with vocalist Julia Michaels.
“The opportunity to be a part of the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio is a huge milestone in my career and it will be the biggest performance of my life,” Kygo said in a press release. I’ve been a sports fan forever.”
Describing the pop star, a member of the local organising committee, Mark Parkman, said Kygo’s music speaks to new generations of Olympic fans. His closing ceremony performance is sure to electrify viewers around the world on Sunday night as we prepare to launch the Olympic Channel,” Parkman said.
Kygo, or Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll, is a Norwegian, multi-talented musician who shot to fame with his remix of ‘I See Fire’ by Ed Shereen. He was born in Singapore and started piano lessons at age six. At 16 he had started producing music and began pursuing music full-time at university.
Preparations and performances at the closing ceremony are being supervised by Rosa Magalhaes, a Brazilian professor of scenography, who is considered one of greatest carnival designers in the nation’s history. She was also one of the creative directors for Rio’s opening ceremony.
Today’s event, just like the opening ceremony, will celebrate Brazilian culture, lots of music, and the parade of athletes at a much brisker pace than the opening. Expected to be celebrated today are Olympics record breakers, Usain Bolt of Jamaica and South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk.
Bolt became the first human being to win three consecutive gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4×100 metres relay, while Van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson’s 400m record set at the Atlanta 1996 Games.
Creative supervisor, Abel Gomes, says the ceremony will celebrate “all what’s best in Brazil.” At the end, there will be remarks by IOC President Thomas Bach and then the official handover of the Olympic flag to Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, host of the 2020 Games. Finally, the Olympic flame is extinguished.Just before going to press, the Nigerian football team was about taking the pitch against Honduras to contest for the bronze medal of the event.
The teams got to the semifinals of the competition, but lost to Germany (0-2) and Brazil (6-0). Yesterday’s game presents Team Nigeria their only opportunity of being among the medalists after other entrants failed to do better than the scandalous performance in London four years ago.Already, Team Nigeria officials have started shifting blames for the country’s disgraceful outing in Rio, just as the messengers of a better tomorrow have gone to town.
They will join other countries in the march past that will signal the beginning of the closing ceremony before leaving Brazil for home tomorrow.Already, the LOC has started dismantling the makeshift structures used for the various events, just as the flats in the Games Village are being readied for auction to Rio indigenes.
The complex in the Barra area of Rio comprises 31 17-storey towers, which will become a new town complete with all the facilities one can find in a modern community.
The LOC officials say it is one of the things Rio has gained from hosting the Games. The others include, an expanded rail network, new BRT buses lanes and expansion of the city’s economy, which witnessed massive infrastructural improvement due to the Olympics. They also count on the various visitors to the city to return as tourists in the near future.
Reports say Brazil’s interim President, Michel Temer, who was booed at the opening ceremony, may not be in attendance this night. But the people are not bothered. They just want to have another night of music, dance and fun in this beautiful city.