Summer 2016 Olympics closing ceremonies take place in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 21 (UPI) — The 2016 Summer Olympics wrapped up Sunday night with spectacular closing ceremonies in its host city of Rio de Janeiro.

The 2 1/2-hour, televised event kicked off with dancers colorfully dressed as parrots and assembling in formation to create the outlines of some of Brazil’s most famous landmarks such as the Christ the Redeemer statue, the Arcos de Lapa aqueduct and Sugarloaf Mountain — all to the tune of “Beautiful Creatures.”

Among the recording artists to perform were Martin da Vilo, Roberta Sa, Kygo and Julia Michaels. A children’s choir also took center stage to sing the country’s national anthem, while other dance and music groups paid tribute to Brazilian culture throughout the program.

Athletes who competed in the games entered Maracana Stadium, wearing rain ponchos to protect them from the inclement weather and holding their cell phones aloft to capture the colorful scene.

The event also included the symbolic handoff of the Summer Olympics from Rio to Tokyo, the home of the 2020 Olympics.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dressed as the video-game character Mario to accept the honor before performers from his homeland danced around fluorescent-lit cubes and executed gravity-defying flips, offering a glimpse of what is to come four years from now.

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