2016 Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony: Everything That Happened

Flag bearer Simone Biles of the United States participates during the closing ceremony on day 16 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

9:45 p.m. ET: All of the athletes are out of their chairs, dancing and enjoying this amazing fireworks show. No better way to close out the Summer Games! See you in 2020, Tokyo!

9:37 p.m. ET: Here comes the confetti! This is basically a dance party, and a parade with fireworks.

9:30 p.m. ET: Fittingly, the last act of the closing ceremony honors the musicality of the people of Brazil in the best way possible: A tribute to the epic Carnival!

9:28 p.m. ET: Oh, turns out that the level of rain was planned. De Castro was prepared to embrace it, and had all evening to practice in the real thing. The rain was a metaphor to represent the abundance of tropical waters on earth.

9:26 p.m. ET: And with that, the Olympic flame has been extinguished.


9:24 p.m. ET: It amazes me how Mariene de Castro can manage to sing so beautifully when she is being rained on SO hard. She’s totally embracing the rain and it’s pretty incredible. What else can you do, I guess!

9:21 p.m. ET: The next segment pays tribute to Burle Marx, a Brazilian artist and landscape designer. Love the landscapes these performers are forming in their flora-inspired costumes.

9:19 p.m. ET: Bach says the Games of the 31st Olympiad are closed. See you in four years, Tokyo!

9:15 p.m. ET: Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, is promising to continue to back the refugee athletes: “You will have a place in our hearts forever.”

9:01 p.m. ET: In the official speeches, they’re trying to turn this rain into some kind of symbol of celebration. Feels like a stretch.

8:52 p.m. ET: Props to Japan for this incredible inclusion of Super Mario in their ceremony! If this is any indication of what Tokyo’s opening ceremony is going to be like, then we are very, very excited!


8:48 p.m. ET: The Olympic flag is being handed over by the major of Rio de Janeiro to the governor of Tokyo. The #RoadToRio is over. Is there a Tokyo hashtag yet?

8:42 p.m. ET: Before we start thinking about Tokyo 2020, it’s time to honor the many, many volunteers who made Rio 2016 possible. They were honored with flowers and an exclusive song by Lenine (a version of one of his greatest hits). Some lucky volunteers get to be up there dancing with him. Although, are they really that lucky in this rain?


8:36 p.m. ET: Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge just accepted his gold medal in the marathon. He ran it in 2:08:44, which is mind-blowing. It was a good week to be a Kenyan marathon runner. Jemima Jelagat Sumgong won gold for the country in the women’s marathon, clocking in at 2:24:04.

8:29 p.m. ET: The last victory of these Olympic Games: The men’s marathon. Galen Rupp took bronze in this event. It was his second marathon ever. Yes, you read that right. Also, Galen is luckily in his sweats, while the rest of Team USA is in shorts.

8:27 p.m. ET: Nice greatest moments montage featuring Team USA gold medalists Connor Fields, Lilly King, Simone Biles and, of course, Michael Phelps.

8:25 p.m. ET: Lots of dancing in the audience for this celebration of clay and the artist Vitalino. Brazilians can turn anything into a dance party.


8:17 p.m. ET: Lace-making: Another Brazilian feat is addressed in a beautiful way! This is turning out to be a nice lesson in Brazilian history.

8:16 p.m. ET: I’ve learned that these Olympic Games — for the first time — included a place of private mourning for the athletes in the village. With so many athletes taking the energy from their terrible losses and channeling it into positive energy to win (we’re looking at you, silver medalist BMXer Alise Post, who rides with “Cheryl Strong” on her bike in memory of her late mother), this part of the ceremony expands on that and allows all to reflect on those who are no longer with us that touched our lives.

8:12 p.m. ET: Now we’re celebrating Brazilian artistry — everything from cave paintings to contemporary pieces. The contraptions these dancers are wearing do not look very comfortable, but they’re creating something cool!

8:09 p.m. ET: The Tonga guy is here, so everything is right in the world. If you need a refresher: He’s the oiled up, buff, shirtless guy everyone was talking about after the opening ceremony.

8:07 p.m. ET: With all the athletes in the stadium, it’s time for some fireworks (and Kygo!)


8:04 p.m. ET: Team USA diver Kassidy Cook looks like she’s having a great time tonight.

8:02 p.m. ET: Team USA is dancing! Rightfully so; we have SO much to celebrate — specifically, 121 medals.

8:01 p.m. ET: The Japanese team looks exhausted. Can’t blame them.

7:59 p.m. ET: Turns out fencer Miles Chamley-Watson, who won bronze during these games, is one of those nice guys carrying a female teammate on his shoulders.

7:56 p.m. ET: It appears the best way to survive this rain is to dance. Also, great news: Simone Biles found Aly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez. Can’t have those Final Five ladies separated for long!

7:53 p.m. ET: So. Much. Dabbing.

7:51 p.m. ET: To the Team USA athlete using a GoPro for photos instead of a phone in the downpour, kudos to you. Smart man.

7:48 p.m. ET: Spotted: Ashton Eaton, world’s greatest athlete, going poncho-less. Brave. Meanwhile, the Canadian team is wearing mittens. It’s not THAT cold.

7:44 p.m. ET: Seriously though, how many of these athletes are going to have a cold tomorrow from this rain and cold weather?!

7:40 p.m. ET: I cannot give enough props to all of these people out here in the rain. It’s coming down hard! These athletes are troopers, obviously. Rain is not dampening the spirits of these Belarus athletes, who have come out with their very own Skol collectible beer cups. Every athlete here (of age) deserves a drink!

7:37 p.m. ET: How do you get to be one of the lucky athletes that get to be carried in on a teammate’s shoulders?!

7:34 p.m. ET: As you may know, many athletes skip the opening ceremony because it’s so many hours of standing (even Bob Bowman wasn’t wild about Michael Phelps attending). At the closing ceremony, however, when everyone is done competing, they get chairs. I get that they may be tired after these past 16 days, but if they have chairs tonight, shouldn’t they have them at opening ceremony too?! Would love to see more athletes enjoying the opening!

7:32 p.m. ET: Totally understandable why the athletes might be hesitant to wear their medals at the ceremony, but kudos to those who did because they should relish every moment of it.

7:30 p.m. ET: Team Great Britain is ALL over the iPhone videos of their closing ceremony entrance. It appears selfie sticks have not been banned!


7:26 p.m. ET: The French team definitely had a lot of fun dancing their way into the stadium.

7:17 p.m. ET: Now that all the flags are in, the athletes get to walk in. Lots of athletes walking today who missed the opening ceremony, such as Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian and Laurie Hernandez. Many of these athletes just can’t resist the opportunity for a closing ceremony selfie. Can’t blame them, though!

7:16 p.m. ET: Simone Biles and the American flag are in the building! It’s just a little lower than when Michael Phelps carried it in 16 days ago.

7:14 p.m. ET: A children’s choir sang the Brazil National Anthem beautifully. As they sang, a Brazilian flag appeared, looking like it was made out of confetti — but it was just lights! The athletes from 207 nations entered together with their flags to symbolize communication and fellowship. Quite a contrast from the opening ceremony!

7:08 p.m. ET: Martinho da Vila, an icon of Brazilian samba, is paying tribute to the music of the country. He is joined on stage by his three daughters and granddaughter. The audience is waving the “lighters” of 2016 — the flashlights on their smartphones as Da Vila continues to sing with his family.


7:06 p.m. ET: The birds end in a perfect formation of the five Olympic rings!

7:02 p.m. ET: And the show starts with fireworks! Brazil is celebrating their diverse (and beautiful) animals, with a celebration of Rio from the perspective of some very colorful birds.

7:00 p.m. ET: We start with a countdown honoring Brazilian Santos Dumont, who is regarded as the “Father of Aviation.” Fun fact: Dumont was the first person to ever wear a wristwatch!

Original story below:

All good things must come to an end. The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will come to a close on Sunday, August 21, at 7 p.m. ET, following weeks of memorable moments, incredible performances and plenty of gold medals. The closing ceremony is taking place at Maracanã Stadium.

Team USA gymnast Simone Biles, who won five medals in this summer’s events, was selected by her teammates to serve as the United States’ flag bearer.

Closing Ceremonies here we come🇺🇸

A photo posted by Madison Kocian (@madison_kocian) on

The closing ceremony will highlight the host country, Brazil, as well as the hundreds of nations that participated in Rio 2016, all culminating in the extinguishing of the famous Olympic flame.

NBC will be broadcasting the opening ceremony on a one-hour delay in the Eastern time zone, including the network’s livestream.

Us Weekly’s Cara Sprunk is in Rio for the games and will be sending dispatches from the stadium at the closing ceremony. Check back throughout the night for all of the live updates!

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