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Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony

Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony

  • Premiered: 
    September 12, 1960
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: CBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Parade
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Closing ceremony for Summer Olympics 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags: Olympics

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Plot Synopsis

On the last day of the Summer Games, fans, athletes and volunteers assemble in the Olympic Stadium one last time to celebrate the spirit of the games through music, song and dance, while featuring a handover from the current host city to the next one. While the opening ceremony is typically filled with pomp and circumstance, the closing ceremony is significantly more relaxed -- so much so that David Arnold, the music director of the 2012 closing ceremony in London declared, "If the opening ceremony was the wedding, then we're the wedding reception." Although less formal, the closing ceremony follows a prescribed order and script, including (in order):
- entrance of the head of state of the host country;
- the national anthem of the host country is played and its flag hoisted in the Olympic stadium;
- the parade of flags of the countries participating in the Games, starting with the Greek flag;
- the athletes parade, as they walk en masse and in no particular order;
- a medals ceremony, usually for the marathon for the Summer Games;
- the presentation of the athletes elected by their peers to the IOC Athletes' Commission;
- the Greek flag being raised to the left of the Olympic flag and the playing of the Greek national anthem;
- the Olympic flag is lowered to the sound of the Olympic anthem;
- an artistic segment of the Closing Ceremony, lasting eight minutes, is devoted to the next host city;
- the OCOG President thanks the athletes and volunteers and the IOC President declares the Games closed;
- the Olympic flame is extinguished in the stadium.

In 1960, CBS aired a 30-minute, condensed version of the Closing Ceremony from Rome, the day after the event. For the next two Summer Olympics, the Closing Ceremonies were shown on tape delay on the same night. Then, in 1972, the Closing Ceremony was broadcast live for the first time in the United States, along with videotape coverage of Olympic Jumping Grand Prix Equestrian from Munich, Germany.
The 2020 Summer Olympics closing ceremony was broadcast by NBC on Sunday, August 8, 2021 from 8-10:30pm ET/PT, on tape delay from Tokyo Olympic Stadium. Kara Winger, who in Tokyo competed in her fourth Summer Games in javelin, was selected by her teammates to serve as the flag bearer for the United States. Commentators Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski, and Johnny Weir host NBC's primetime coverage of the Closing Ceremony for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. Lewis Johnson serves as a reporter for the Closing Ceremony for the third time (2002 Salt Lake, 2016 Rio). The Closing Ceremony streamed live earlier in the day, starting at 7am ET/4am PT at -- presented with natural sound and no commentary.