Paris gets ready to be handed Olympic torch

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After 17 days of sporting action held a year late and with the spectre of COVID-19 hanging over them, the Tokyo Summer Olympics came to an end on Sunday.

They will mostly be remembered for the empty stadiums but there were plenty of other noteworthy events including athletes taking a stand on mental health and LGBTQ+ issues, Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya’s dramatic exit to Poland and Italy rising as an unexpected sprinting powerhouse.

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto has hailed what she called the “can-do” attitude of this year’s Olympics, held despite all the problems associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

The closing ceremony will kick off at 13:00 CEST with a “Worlds We Share”-themed ceremony designed to make athletes and viewers “think about what the future holds” and “expresses the idea that each of us inhabits their own world,” organisers said.

The French capital will also take centre stage.

Paris will host the next edition of the summer games and as is traditional, its mayor Anne Hidalgo will receive the Olympic flag from the current host city’ authorities.

While Hidalgo will be in Tokyo, festivities will also take place in Paris with a free concert by Woodkid and a flight by the Patrouille de France aircraft.

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A flag the size of a football pitch stamped “Paris 2024” is to be hoisted and flown on the Eiffel Tower.

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