By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games came to an end on 8 August 2021 in a spectacular closing ceremony show-casing Japanese culture.
In a moving and heartfelt closing speech, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Dr Thomas Bach, also an Olympian, described the Games as being unprecedented and many thought undoable.
He went on to state that:
“Athletes went faster, went higher and were stronger because they all stood together in solidarity.
You inspired us with this unified symbol of sport. And it was even more remarkable because of what you faced in the pandemic.
For the first time since the pandemic, the world came together.
People were united by emotion, sharing moments of joy and inspiration. This gives us hope, this gives us faith in the future.
The Olympic Games of Tokyo were the Olympic Games of hope, solidarity and peace. You the Japanese people can be extremely proud of what you achieved.
On behalf of all the athletes we say thank you Tokyo, thank you Japan.”
The Head of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Hashimoto Seiko, also an Olympian, described the Games as being exciting and inspirational and added:
“These Games took place in the midst of a severe pandemic, and I would like to express my deep gratitude to all those in medical services, to everyone who supported and contributed to the Games, and to our hosts, the people of Japan.”
Despite everything, the 2020 Tokyo Games were a great success.
In three years time, the next Summer Olympics will be held in Paris, hopefully under different and more normal circumstances!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at