The Paralympic Games closing ceremony saw out Tokyo 2020 in style on Sunday with millions of viewers watching the prestigious event across the globe.
Despite no attendees being permitted in the Japan National Stadium yesterday’s send off to one of the most important dates in the sporting calendar was one which will go down in history.
A compilation of the games highlights was shown against of a backdrop of spectacular firework displays celebrating achievements from the past 12 days which saw China coming first with 207 medals including 96 golds.
GB came second with 124 medals comprising of 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze.
One of those gold medallist was David Smith who was had the honour to be Great Britain’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony.
"I am proud to be the face of the athletes that are here, and those who have already returned home," Smith said.
"It is an unbelievable honour to be leading out the ParalympicsGB team at the closing ceremony.
"Not only am I representing the sport that I love, but the wider ParalympicsGB team too.
"I have received so much support over these last 12 days, this honour is for every one of them - athletes, support staff and British fans alike.”
It was the year which saw swimmer Ellie Simmonds suggest Tokyo was her final Paralympics and Ellie Robinson stepping away from the pool because her condition has deteriorate making it too painful to continue taking part in future games.
Dame Sarah Storey became Britain’s most successful Paralympian in history winning her seventeeth medal overtaking the record held by swimmer Mike Kenny who won sixteen between 1976 and 1988.
Host Japan won a total of 12 gold medals finishing in eleventh place.
The closing ceremony saw performances from dancers and musicians including one who holds the world record for the most hands-free head-spins in one minute and BMX riders putting on breath-taking displays before the athletes’ parade where representatives from each nation attached reflective discs on a miniature model of Tokyo’s ‘skytree’, the tallest tower in the world.
Another flash of fireworks to orchestral music provided the perfect backdrop as the ‘skytree’ replica was hoisted up towards the sky above a model of the Tokyo skyline.
There was also reference to Paris in the closing ceremony, where the games will be held in 2024. We hope the French are taking note as this year’s games will be a tough one to follow even though crowds will ‘hopefully’ be allowed into the stadium by then!
The Paris Paralympic Games will run from 28 August – 8 September 2024.
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