TOKYO: Held amid the unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic, the 32nd Olympic Games began drawing to an end on Sunday with a closing ceremony that sought to give the message of moving forward.
The ceremony opened with a video that looked back on the 17 days of events and competition.
Fireworks went off at the stadium to mark the beginning of the final chapter in which the organisers "expressed gratitude for the countless individuals who lent us their strength and helped us make it to the Closing Ceremony."
This was followed by Japan's Crown Prince Akishino and the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach's appearance in the official stand.
The focus of the opening video was not records and scores but the valiant efforts of all the athletes, who competed in a strictly enforced bio-bubble, undergoing daily COVID-19 tests.
The salient message of the ceremony was that the Games will open the door to a brighter future.
India certainly could look towards that brighter future after claiming its best ever haul of seven medal, including their first gold medal in 13 years, from javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who is also going back as the country's first track-and-field medallist at the Games The country's haul also had two silver and four bronze medals.