Japan's PM thanks people for safe Olympics during pandemic
Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga thanked people for helping the country safely hold the Tokyo Olympics despite the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic. He noted, "The Games were delayed by a year and held under tight restrictions, but I believe we were able to fulfill our responsibility as the host nation." He thanked the people for their understanding and cooperation.
All the performances were moving: Suga
The 17-day Summer Olympics were played mostly without spectators. Athletes stayed in an isolation bubble, quickly donned masks off their field of play, and had to leave Japan soon after their competitions ended. Suga noted in praising Japanese athletes for the nation's record 58 medals, "Some won the medals and others didn't, but all their performances were moving."
Here is what Tokyo Olympics committee tweeted
Japanese public had criticized him for hosting Olympics during pandemic
Suga was speaking at a ceremony in Nagasaki on Monday that marked the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. Suga has been criticized for forcing the games on the Japanese public that didn't want them to be held during the pandemic.
Surveys show support for Suga's government is steadily declining
Japan has counted one million infections and more than 15,700 COVID-19 deaths, faring better than many countries, but the Delta variant causing many recent cases is accelerating the virus spread. Surveys of public opinion show support for Suga's government is steadily declining, a trajectory the ruling party hopes the end of the Olympics will reverse before elections that are expected in the fall.
IOC President Thomas Bach thanked the athletes
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach also thanked the athletes who participated in the Summer Games. During the closing ceremony, he said, "You inspired us with this unifying power of sport. This was even more remarkable given the many challenges you had to face because of the pandemic. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are the Olympic Games of hope, solidarity, and peace."
Next Olympic Games will be held in Paris in 2024
On Sunday, the IOC President declared the closing of the Tokyo Games. Meanwhile, the French flag was raised inside Olympic Stadium for the transition to Paris 2024. Notably, the official handle of the Paris Olympics also tweeted, "Let's get it started!"