The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games came to a close on Sunday after 16 days of competitions in 42 different sports.
Unlike previous Olympics, this year’s games have concluded with an impressive celebratory closing ceremony performed in front of an empty stadium due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Israeli rhythmic gymnast and gold medalist Linoy Ashram was selected to carry the Israeli flag at the closing ceremony, which officially launches the countdown to the next Summer Olympic Games, set to take place in Paris, France, on July 26, 2024.
The march of the flag carriers into the stadium was followed by a spectacular light show and various performances from local musicians and artists.
Towards the end of the ceremony, the Olympic flag was handed over to the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and a special clip was played in which French astronaut Thomas Pasquet is seen in outer space, playing several notes from his country's anthem on a saxophone.
Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee praised the Olympic athletes for giving “soul” to the Games and admitted he feared that the Olympics would be canceled after almost all spectators were barred from attending the Games due to COVID-19.
Israel walks away from the 2020 Olympic Games with a myriad of impressive achievements, including an impressive tally of four Olympic medals.
Gymnasts Artem Dolgopyat and Linoy Ashram both claimed golf and Taekwondo fighter Avishag Semberg and the mixed judo team bagged bronze.
Meanwhile, windsurfer Yoav Cohen came in fourth place, while swimmer Matan Roditi also finished fourth in a 10-kilometer swim in open waters.
Judokas Shira Rishoni (48kg class) and Baruch Shmailov (66kg class) both finished fifth in their respective competitions.
Athletes Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko and Katy Spichkov both finished sixth at the triple jump and windsurfing women's competitions respectively and the Israeli artistic gymnastics team also came in sixth in the final of the group competition.
Noya Bar-Am and Shachar Tibi finished in eighth place overall in the 470 women cruising competition, while Slamwit Bayulin-Teferi finished tenth in the 5,000-meter dash final.
Olympic archer Itay Shani managed to reach the quarterfinals. Horse rider Ashley Bond finished 11th in the showjumping finals, while marathon runner Marhu Teferi finished 13th in the marathon finals.