By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
United States of America (USA) emerged top on the overall medals table as glitz and emotion marked the end of Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan on Sunday.
This is even as Team Nigeria finished 74th on the medals table with a paltry two medals-Silver and Bronze courtesy of Blessing Obodururu who secured a Silver medal in Wrestling and Ese Brume, Bronze medal winner in Long Jump.
While Brume recorded a 6.97 metres jump in the final of the event at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium to win her first Olympic medal, Oborududu settled for the Silver medal in the Women’s Freestyle 68kg Wrestling event in Tokyo.
Although Team USA overhauled People’s Republic of China on the last day to top the overall medals table with a total of 113 medals; (Gold-39 Silver-41 B-33) against China’s 88 medals total of (Gold-38, Silver-32, Bronze-18), the interest of the world was arrested on Sunday during the Closing Ceremony.
Two of the most technologically advanced countries of the world, Japan and France showed why they are amongst the elite class of Group of Seven Most Advanced nations of the earth called (G-7) with the razzmattaz both displayed during the Ceremonial Handing Over of the Olympics Flag.
The lowered Olympics Flag was handed over to the President of International Olympics Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach by the Governor Governor of Tokyo and Bach in turn passed to the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo the next Host City of 2024 Olympics.
However, immediately the announcer called for the National Anthem of France to be sang, the French next organizers deployed technology as the National Anthem was rendered virtually, and even in International Space Station where a Saxophonist performed from the outer space, before several millions of television viewers across the 206 countries were taken straight to France via live feed.
There, the French gave a snippet of what the entire world will see in Paris 2024, three years from now, as the French Olympics athletes and fans converged at there iconic Eiffell Tower and other places in Paris for a parade with President Emmanuel Macron appearing with the youth at a balcony.
The highlight of the “Paris Show” on Sunday was when no fewer than eight fighter jets of French Elite Airforce over flew Paris, spreading France’s Blue-White-Red National Colour over the city. It was a spectacular display by France.
Later both the Tokyo 2020 Olympics President, Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President, Thomas Bach who spoke at Closing Ceremony that the athletes, officials and volunteers paid huge respect to the participants and thanked everyone involved in delivery the Games in the face of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which forced the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to be the very first Games in history to be postponed and held instead of outright cancellation.
Meanwhile, Team Nigeria’s “good or bad” performance in Tokyo 2020 will dominate the Nigeria media for the rest of the year even as less endowed nations like Bermuda, Philippines, and Qatar won their first-ever Olympic Gold medals.
Others who created history are Burkina Faso, San Marino, and Turkmenistan that won their first-ever Olympic medals.