Japan Officially Passes Olympic Flag to France for Paris 2024 to Close Out Tokyo Games

During the Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday, Japan handed off Summer Games hosting duties to France

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo accepts the Olympic flag
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo accepts the Olympic flag. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Sayonara Japan, bonjour France!

At the official closing ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Games on Sunday, the Olympic flag was lowered and handed off by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike to the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo. Paris will be the host city for the next Summer Games, in 2024.

After the transfer of hosting responsibilities, those in attendance at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo — and the hundreds of athletes gathered on the field — were asked to stand for the national anthem of France.

The French anthem was played by a series of orchestras and musicians in a dramatic instrumental performance that was pre-recorded.

As the anthem played throughout the Japanese stadium, France's red, white and blue flag was raised alongside the flags of Greece, the site of the original Olympics, and Japan's.

French flag
The French flag being raised. Naomi Baker/Getty Images

More video footage highlighted some of Paris' landmarks as it teased what is to come when the European city takes over the Games. Then, the video cut to Paris on Sunday, where many were gathered outside the Eiffel Tower as fighter jets flew overhead trailing behind them the country's colors.

The special moment was preceded by a performance of the Olympic anthem by Japanese opera singer Tomotaka Okamoto.

It has been 100 years since Paris last hosted the Games, which were also in the summer. Breakdancing will be introduced as a sport for the first time, and the City of Light's landmarks will make for magical backdrops for many of the events.

According to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, beach volleyball will be played opposite the Eiffel Tower on the Champs de Mars, while fencing and taekwondo will take place in the Grand Palais. Archery will be hosted on the esplanade at Invalides, and cyclers will ride along the Champs-Elysées.

Soccer games will be played in the Parc des Princes, while tennis and boxing are scheduled for Roland Garros stadium. The equestrian events will commence in the park of the Palace of Versailles.

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