TOKYO — After more than two weeks of competition in 33 sports across 46 disciplines in 43 venues – for a total of 339 medal events – the Tokyo Olympics will formally come to an end Sunday with the closing ceremony.
Conducted one year behind schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic, Japan pulled off these Games despite more than 400 cases connected to the event. However, Tokyo experienced record-high infections as the Games were held here.
The presence of the pandemic highlighted the games. Stadiums and arenas lacked spectators both domestic and foreign. The same will be true Sunday at Olympic Stadium, although it will be a celebration of the athletes who persevered and made these Games possible.
Coverage of the closing ceremony will begin on Peacock at 7 a.m. ET before airing in primetime (8-11 p.m. ET) on NBC.
Follow along with updates from inside the stadium.
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TOKYO — The American women had been trendy toward leading the medal count. In the Tokyo Olympics, they hit the accelerator.
The U.S. women finished these Games with 66 medals to lead the team. They also helped the U.S. finish first in the overall medal count with 113 to China’s 88, including 39 golds to 38 for China.
The American women delivered some of the memorable and iconic moments of the Olympics. The basketball team claimed its seventh consecutive gold, beating Japan on Sunday, while the water polo team won its third gold in a row and the volleyball team won its first.
— Rachel Axon
TOKYO — Beach volleyball at the Eiffel Tower. Skateboarding at the Place de la Concorde. Equestrian at the Château de Versailles.
In three years’ time, the Olympic Games will find themselves amid some of the most iconic Parisian landmarks. Tokyo organizers will pass the torch to Paris 2024 at the closing ceremony here on Sunday, and the French hosts offered a glimpse of what their Games could be.
Paris organizers will mark the handoff by unfurling the world’s largest flag atop the Eiffel Tower during the ceremony here. Led by French athletes and undisclosed special guests, the handoff will mark Paris taking over as host of the Summer Olympics once these Games close.
The city last hosted in 1924, and it received these Olympics in 2017 as part of a double award with Los Angeles, which will host in 2028.
— Rachel Axon
Skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing made their debuts at the Tokyo Olympics. All three will return for the Paris Games in 2024, which will also add breakdancing, or breaking, for its Olympic debut. The event will feature men’s and women’s competitions with head-to-head matchups in which judges determine the winners.
Those sports are easy to pick up and have active communities on social media, Paris 2024 noted.
Some of the sports added for the Tokyo Games – baseball/softball and karate – are gone for now.
IOC rules now allow host cities to add sports to their program, so karate made sense in the country it originated. Baseball and softball, which have strong followings here, did too.
But they’re less of a fit in 2024 and won’t be contested then.
— Rachel Axon
TOKYO — By the time their Games are done, Tokyo Olympians will have spent years training and weeks here while they compete.
For some athletes, getting home from the Olympics might come with a longer time commitment – in quarantine.
Depending on the regulations in their home countries, some Olympians face days or even weeks in isolation when they return from Tokyo. While many countries don’t require a quarantine or allow travelers to avoid it with vaccination, testing or both, some require isolation regardless of vaccination status.
Take Australia and New Zealand. The two island nations have fared better than almost any large countries. Athletes from both will quarantine for two weeks upon return.
— Rachel Axon