Olympics Closing Ceremony 2016: Top Moments, Celebrities and More from Rio

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2016

Flag bearers walk into the stadium during the closing ceremony for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Vincent Thian/Associated Press

Goodbye, Rio de Janeiro. Hello, Tokyo.

Not even rain could dampen the party at Maracana Stadium as Rio bid the rest of the world adieu at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympics. Sunday brought one final celebration with music, dancing and the athletes of the Games as well as a symbolic transition to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The ceremony began with a video highlighting Alberto Santos Dumont's accomplishments. He is "the man that Brazilians recognize as the inventor of the airplane," per the Associated Press (via the Chicago Tribune).

From there, dancers celebrated some of Brazil's natural beauty before Martinho da Vila graced the stage to sing. The crowd roared and responded with lights when the samba legend appeared, as Rio 2016 highlighted on Twitter:

Maracana Stadium also lit up for the Brazilian national anthem, via the Olympics:

The athletes and flag-bearers for each nation paraded shortly after the national anthem. They were the primary attraction for more than two weeks of thrilling competition, and there was a party atmosphere with the medals and events in the rearview mirror.

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Gymnast Simone Biles was the flag-bearer for the United States after winning gold medals in the team competition, individual all-around event, floor exercise and vault and a bronze on the balance beam.

She was the star of the dominant American women's gymnastics squad alongside Aly Raisman (silver in floor and individual all-around), Laurie Hernandez (silver on balance beam), Madison Kocian (silver on uneven bars) and Gabby Douglas.

USA Gymnastics captured Biles waving the flag Sunday:

Rio 2016 shared an image of the flag-bearers filing in, while rower Matt Langridge passed along the fashion statement from the Great Britain representatives:

Some of the athletes even joined musicians Kygo and Julia Michaels on stage, as the Olympics noted:

Kygo and Michaels thrilled the audience with their songs, and dancers and singers then honored some of Brazil's history. They also paid homage to the city before transitioning to Tokyo, via NBC Olympics:

The closing ceremony then moved from the music to the men's marathon medal ceremony. Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the gold medalist, heard his national anthem in front of the packed stadium, while Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa (silver) and the United States' Galen Rupp (bronze) graced the podium as well.

Keeping with tradition, the national anthem of Greece was played to honor the Games' birthplace before the formal passing of the Olympics from Brazil to Japan commenced. Rio 2016 noted Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes officially passed the Olympic flag to Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.

There was also a video and demonstration highlighting Tokyo's culture and preparation that included singing, dancing and characters such as Super Mario and Pac-Man.

Rio 2016 shared some of the scenes:

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach then declared the 2016 Games closed and thanked Rio before a fireworks show and carnival closed the evening, via Rio 2016 and the Olympics:

The Games ended when the flame was officially extinguished, via NBC Olympics:

While things such as green diving pools and the Ryan Lochte saga that the Associated Press called a "fabricated story about a harrowing robbery that was actually an intoxicated-fueled vandalism of a gas station bathroom" made headlines, the 2016 Games will likely be remembered for a number of incredible performances, especially for Americans, as NBC Olympics shared:

The greatest swimmer of all time, Michael Phelps, passed the hypothetical torch to Katie Ledecky in the pool. Phelps finished his Olympic career with five gold medals and a silver in Rio, which brought his total to 28 overall medals and 23 golds. The 19-year-old Ledecky took home four golds and a silver and announced herself as an overwhelming force with an 800-meter freestyle win of more than 11 seconds.

Elsewhere, Team USA captured gold in men's and women's basketball, and Ashton Eaton defended his gold in the decathlon, while Allyson Felix earned gold in the 4x100-meter relay and the 4x400-meter relay. Felix also won silver in the 400-meter run and became the most decorated woman in the history of American track and field with six career Olympic gold medals, per NBC Sports.

It wasn't just the United States that prevailed in Rio, even if it did dominate the final medal tally:

Jamaica's Usain Bolt again headlined the track and field portion of the Games with his breathtaking speed. He won the 100-meter sprint as well as the 200-meter race and the 4x100-meter relay. The exuberant star now has nine gold medals in his career and will go out as arguably the top track and field athlete of all time, if not the most dominant Olympian in history.

The host country got to celebrate the men's soccer tournament, which ended in dramatic fashion. Brazil captured gold after Neymar buried the final attempt of the penalty shootout against Germany following a 1-1 tie through extra time. There was an element of revenge as well, considering Germany stunned Brazil in the 2014 World Cup with a 7-1 victory in the semifinals.

Sunday featured a memorable and festive atmosphere, but the soccer gold medal will likely have Brazil partying long after the lights are out at the closing ceremony.

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