Rio 2016 Olympics go out in style

Rio 2016 Olympics – The Rio Olympics have closed after 17 days with a huge Brazilian carnival-like party, despite gusty, wet conditions.

Despite a wet evening, 70,000 spectators turned out to see the final act of the 28th Olympics.

Rio was hit with strong winds and heavy rain in the hours before, and a power cut hit Maracana Stadium just minutes before the start of the ceremony.

The inside of the stadium was plunged into darkness along with areas outside the centre where thousands were still queuing to get in, however power was soon restored.

The colourful ceremony, lasting almost three hours, celebrated Brazil’s arts.

Among the highlights were a vibrant carnival parade and human formations of Rio landmarks Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Tongan flagbearer Pita Taufatofua was the talk of the opening ceremony on Saturday 6 August when the cameras zoomed in on his coconut-oiled body.

Taufatofua competed in the men’s over 80kg taekwondo class at the weekend but was beaten in the first round.

He was back for the closing ceremony in oiled-up style.

The ceremony featured the symbolic handover of the Olympic flag.

Rio mayor Eduardo Paes returned it to International Olympic Committee president Bach, before it was passed to Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike.

One of the biggest cheers of the night was for Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who popped out of a huge green pipe in the stadium dressed as the video game character Super Mario.

The United States, Great Britain and China topped the medals table – while 10 countries took home their first Olympic gold medals ever.

RNZ’s reporter in Rio said that while transport had been a problem during the Games, they had been much better organised than had been feared.

– Additional reporting from BBC

Source: RadioNZ