JAPAN HANDS OVER THE OLYMPIC FLAME TO FRANCE
The Handover Ceremony celebrations in Tokyo were so special. A trademark moment at each Closing Ceremony, this time, the baton was handed to Paris to host the Games in three years! The moment was unique, showcasing the first ever live broadcast from the city of Paris, projected into the National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. “For the first time since the pandemic began, the entire world came together. Sport returned to center stage. Billions of people around the globe were united by emotion, sharing moments of joy and inspiration. “This gives us hope. This gives us faith in the future,” Bach continued, speaking of “Games of hope, solidarity and peace.”
1)The Tokyo Olympics were the most expensive Olympics on record. According to officials, the budget for the Games was $15.4 billion. On the other hand, Japanese government auditors have claimed the total spending topped $20 billion.
2)This year, the Games nearly reached gender parity. According to the IOC, of the almost 11,000 Olympic athletes in Tokyo, nearly 49% were women, marking the first “gender-balanced” games in its history. Nearly 85 years after the canoe sprint made its Olympic debut, the women’s sprint event was added to the Olympic games this year.
3)The Olympic Torch Relay traveled through all 47 of Japan’s prefectures over 121 days. It involved 10,500 torchbearers, who ultimately arrived at Japan’s Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
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Simone Biles shocked the world when she withdrew from the team all-around competition. However, afterwards she perhaps stunned reporters and followers alike when she didn’t hide from the fact that she withdrew for mental health concerns. She could’ve hid behind press releases or team spokespersons, but instead the athlete marched to the podium and openly discussed why her mental health was important. It was a move that fellow athletes around the world applauded and respected. Biles could’ve given in to being the “face of the Olympics” but instead stood up for what was best for her. Biles would later comment, “people have to realize that at the end of the day we’re humans, we’re not just entertainment.” It was a move that could perhaps inspire future generations of athletes to fight the stigma of mental health and speak up if something isn’t right for them.
Dutch runner Sifan Hassan could’ve easily given up when she tripped in the women’s 1500m preliminary race. She hit the track on the last lap and it seemed like she’d miss out on advancing. Hassan didn’t miss a beat, popping up off the track, she immediately goes into sprint mode. She goes from last to first in 62 seconds. It’s a great lesson in never giving up. Hassan would go on to win bronze in the event and would win two gold medals in the 5,000m and 10,000m distance
The International Olympic Committee has officially announced it will add breakdancing to the Games under the name breaking. Breaking, of course, is a style of hip-hop dance that includes footwork and athletic moves like back or head spins. The dancers, often called b-boys or b-girls, will be able to compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. And here to talk about it is professional hip-hop dancer and breaker Raphael Xavier. Welcome to the program. Paris Game organiser’s were drawn to breakdancing’s potential to attract a younger fanbase and grow the Olympic audience in the internet age. “What attracted us to this sport was its ability to attract the youth,” Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet told Reuters last year. “It’s a sport that is widely watched on all digital platforms and widely consumed by young people.”