The IOC thanks the people of Tokyo and Japan

The event was organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in collaboration with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese Olympic Committee. It included a series of sports initiations and demonstrations from some of the world’s best athletes, as well as a commemorative ceremony to thank the people of Tokyo and Japan for making the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games a success. Postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Games went ahead with almost no spectators.

Thank you Tokyo! IOC

Around 18,000 people, including many families, gathered outside the National Stadium to experience Olympic-themed sports and cultural activities.

Participants were invited to try their hand at rock climbing, athletics, skateboarding – a sport which made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 – and breaking, which will be featured for the first time at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games .

Thank you Tokyo!  an event IOC

“I think urban sports have brought a whole new facet to the Olympics,” said Japanese break dancer Shigekix. “We’ve been doing this from the start, but it was really nice to see the positive reception of the whole street culture developing as a competition. And as someone who was part of that culture, I was proud and overjoyed at the sight of it all.

The photo ops with the Olympians drew crowds and featured Tokyo 2020 gold medalists Sydney McLaughlin and Neeraj Chopra and Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Nicola Olyslagers.

“It’s amazing to be back,” said McLaughlin, the Tokyo 2020 gold medalist in the 400m hurdles. “It’s really cool to be able to relive everything that happened last year, and just seeing the stadium again gives me all the chills I had when I first walked in here. I’m so very happy to be back.

The children enjoyed having their faces and fingernails painted in Olympic colors and watched a painting performance by Paralympian and artist Gregory Burns. Crowds gathered at the Tokyo Pride House booth, where they learned about the LGBTQ community from LGBTQ Olympian and IOC Young Leader Javier Raya.

“The kids had a blast,” said a mother attending the event. “We felt even closer to the Olympics today.”

Thank you Tokyo!  an event IOC

After the sports initiations, nearly 14,500 people – winners of a ticket lottery – gathered at the National Stadium, where a commemorative ceremony celebrated those who are at the heart of the Olympic Games: the athletes. The atmosphere escalated as the athletes and Olympians entered the field of play, and friendly matches between the men’s and women’s rugby teams from Fiji and Japan enlivened the venue.

Gymnast and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Elisa Hammerle mesmerized the crowd with a stunning “clinic gymnastics” beam performance, which she herself commented on during her performance.

Thank you Tokyo! IOC

An obstacle relay brought even more excitement to the stadium, with athletes Jeremy Dodson (SAM, athletics, 200m), Nicola Olyslagers (née McDermott – AUS, athletics, women’s high jump), Lea Sprunger (SUI, athletics , 400m hurdles women), Molly Seidel (USA, athletics, marathon women), Bashir Abdi (BEL, athletics, marathon men), Nozomi Tanaka (athletics, 1500m women), Takatoshi Abe (JPN, athletics, 400m hurdles men ) and Hibiki Tsuha (JPN, athletics, long jump) alongside Tokyo 2020 mascots Miraitowa and Someity.

A javelin contest followed, which included impressive performances from Tokyo 2020 gold medalist Neeraj Chopra and Olympian Haruka Kitaguchi. The event ended with an exhilarating show of breaking skills by Shigekix (JPN), Ram (JPN), Ami (JPN), Ayumi (JPN), Jeffrey Louis (USA) and Alessandra Cortesia (ITA).

Thank you Tokyo!  an event IOC

The Tokyo 2020 volunteers then entered the stadium, greeted with a round of warm applause.

“Today, I would like to express the deep gratitude and admiration of the entire Olympic Movement to all of you Japanese people who have made the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 a resounding success,” said the IOC President. , Thomas Bach, who addressed the crowd via video message.

Looking back on the Games, he said:

“In the context of a global pandemic, seeing everyone united in Tokyo was truly magical. The athletes expressed their gratitude and responded with outstanding performances. They amazed us with their response to all the challenges and the They have shown us that whatever obstacles we may face, we can only move faster, aim higher, become stronger if we stick together.

Thank you Tokyo!  an event IOC

“Like the athletes, you all demonstrated our new Olympic motto: Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together. We did it like and for the athletes. We did it – together.

Olympic memories were already brought back to Tokyo the day before the events, when the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cauldron was unveiled at Ariake – where it had been on display during the Games. Lit more than a year ago by Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, it sent a strong message of hope to the pandemic-hit world. Today, it is a symbol of the importance of these historic Games and the strong legacy they left to their hosts.

Thank you Tokyo!  an event IOC

The Tokyo Legacy Half Marathon, organized by the Tokyo Marathon Foundation as part of the first anniversary of Tokyo 2020, ran alongside the activities, with around 15,000 people taking part. Going forward, it will be an annual event to recognize the legacy of Tokyo 2020.