Oiled Chests, Super Mario, And Simone Biles Make The 2016 Olympics Closing Ceremony Unforgettable
And the gold medal for best Closing Ceremony ever goes to ...
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What could possibly outdo the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio? The Closing Ceremony, of course.
Pita Taufatofua—better known as the insanely hot flag bearer from Tonga—led the way at the 2016 Closing Ceremony wearing a traditional tapa cloth and lots of coconut oil. You might remember him as the guy who first caused a sensation during the Opening Ceremony. As the first athlete from his country to qualify in taekwondo, Taufatofua represented not only Tonga’s attractiveness, but determination as well. And as a fun side note, searches for cheap flights to Tonga jumped a whopping 68 percent following the Opening Ceremony, NBC News reports.
The American flag bearer did not disappoint either. Simone Biles, the 19-year-old gymnast who took home four gold medals and one bronze at the 2016 Rio Games, carried the US flag to a strong finish—as she tends to do.
Apparently, during a press conference before the ceremony, Biles expressed concern the flag might be too unwieldy for her small frame. So she asked her buddy Zac Efron if he’d carry the flag for her, but he commented on Twitter that he had to jet out of Brazil for work. Needless to say, Biles did an amazing job all on her own.
And who will ever be able to forget Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe disguising himself as Super Mario? The costume choice launched Tokyo’s takeover of the Closing Ceremony and hinted at what Japan plans to do with the honor of hosting the Olympic Games in 2020. If Abe’s Oscar-worthy entrance is any indication of what the next Games will be like, they’re bound to be awesome.
We also should note that five new sports will be added to the Olympic Games come 2020. In four years in Tokyo, you’ll be able to see baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, climbing, and surfing. Now the trick is figuring out how to make four years go by faster.
Though, after watching the 2016 Closing Ceremony, I think we’d all like to see dancing vegetable people added as an official sport.
Green, algae-packed pools, Zika scares, and bizarre gas-station brawls aside, we’re most likely to remember the 2016 Games in Rio for the inspiring perseverance displayed by incredible athletes and the moments of true camaraderie that marked the event at every turn. Like any successful Olympic Games, we laughed, we cried, we fell down, and we picked ourselves up again. Until 2020, sports fans.