Photo: © IOC / Greg Martin

Please find below the full speech delivered by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 today, 8 August 2021.

Your Imperial Highness, the Crown Prince,

Dear Olympic Friends around the world,

Good evening Tokyo, good evening Japan,

Dear athletes,

Over the last 16 days, you amazed us with your sporting achievements. With your excellence, with your joy, with your tears, you created the magic of these Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

You were faster, you went higher, you were stronger, because we all stood together – in solidarity.

You were competing fiercely with each other for Olympic glory. At the same time, you were living peacefully together under one roof in the Olympic Village. This is a powerful message of solidarity and peace.

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.

In these difficult times, you give the world the most precious of gifts: hope.

For the first time since the pandemic began, the entire world came together. Sport returned to centre stage. Billions of people around the globe were united by emotion, sharing moments of joy and inspiration. This gives us hope. This gives us faith in the future.   

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are the Olympic Games of hope, solidarity and peace.

You, the best athletes of the world, could only make your Olympic dream come true because Japan prepared the stage for you to shine.

You, the Japanese people, can be extremely proud of what you have achieved. 

On behalf of all athletes, we say: Thank you, Tokyo! Thank you, Japan!

A special thanks goes to all the volunteers. The smiles in your eyes have warmed our hearts. 

A big thank you to all the volunteers!

Yes, these were unprecedented Olympic Games. It took us, the IOC and our Japanese partners and friends, an equally unprecedented effort to make them happen.

This is why I would like to thank the Japanese authorities at all levels, in particular Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Governor Koike Yuriko, for their steadfast commitment. Thank you for staying with us on the side of the athletes, who were longing so much for these Olympic Games.

Our deep gratitude and appreciation go to the Organising Committee. Nobody has ever organised postponed Olympic Games before. Thank you to its President, my dear fellow Olympian, Hashimoto Seiko, and to all the dedicated people in the Organising Committee for your great partnership and wonderful friendship. 

The same is true for the solidarity demonstrated by everyone in the Olympic community. Our warm thanks go to the National Olympic Committees, the International Federations, our TOP Partners, sponsors and Rights-Holding Broadcasters for their truly outstanding show of unity and support.

We did it like athletes and for the athletes. We did it – together.

And now, I have to mark the end of this most challenging Olympic journey: I declare the Games of the 32nd Olympiad closed.

In accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of the world to assemble three years from now in Paris, France, to celebrate with us the Games of the 33rd Olympiad.

The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit, civil, non-governmental, international organisation made up of volunteers which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

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