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Old 08-21-2016, 03:31 PM   #1
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Goodbye from Rio: The 2016 Olympics closing ceremony

A showcase of Brazilian culture will wrap up the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio Sunday with the staging of the closing ceremony at Maracana Stadium.

Organizers said more than 41,000 tickets have been sold for the event but there are still spots available, ranging from 600 reais to 3,000 reais ($187 to $936 USD).

Most of the details are being kept under lock and key, but organizers have released some information about the giant party.

Rosa Magalhaes, the creative director for the closing ceremony, said it will be a festive atmosphere with a touch of melancholy.

[Watch 2016 Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony]

"It will close a circle with Olympic flame being extinguished (in Rio), so there's a bit of melancholy because the flame represents the period of the Olympic Games. At the same time, the closing ceremony must be happy because there's a new beginning. So it's a happy celebration with a bit of melancholy."

Abel Gomes, the creative supervisor for the ceremony, said it's a new beginning.

"We will put on a great show. (Magalhaes) said there's a bit of melancholy. I tend to disagree a little with my dear Rosa because it will be a great, beautiful party. The flame will go to other places, it's a new beginning. It will be a wonderful party showing the best of Brazilians, which is their happiness," he said.

Magalhaes noted that while the Maracana is a great venue, it does present some challenges for the creative team, especially when trying to recreate the big samba floats that Rio's carnival is known for.

"We have the Maracana with a door measuring 4 by 5 meters. That door is a big problem. We can't do anything larger that 4.5 meters or there will be a risk of that getting stuck. There is one element that will be 20 meters tall, but I can't reveal anything else."

While there will be challenges, Rio 2016 ceremonies director Leonardo Caetano said it's a great way to show off Brazilian culture.

"I think the main characteristic of the closing ceremony is that it's a celebration. It's a celebration of the wonderful weeks we have lived, it's a celebration of the Brazilian culture, of the way we do things. Many of the elements of the opening ceremony will be seen again. We don't want to give any spoilers, but some characters come back."

But will Pele be there?

There are conflicting reports on whether football legend and Brazil native Pele will participate in the closing ceremony.

Mario Andrada, Rio 2016's communication director, said he would welcome Pele as a guest, but as of right now, there are no plans for him to be in the ceremony.

"If he wants to be there, he will be our guest, but we haven't got in touch with him or he hasn't got in touch with us since the opening. But obviously if we get a chance to have him it will be our pleasure."

One definite no-show is Brazil's acting president, Michel Temer. After being booed by the crowd during the opening ceremony, Temer announced he would send Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of the lower house of Brazil's congress, to the finale.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the new mayor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, will be there, as the Japanese city will host the next edition of the Olympics.

Brazil's flag-bearer for the closing ceremony will be canoeist Isaquias Queiroz Dos Santos, who won two silver medals and one bronze during the competition. On the USA side, gymnast Simone Biles was chosen to do the honors. Biles won four gold medals and one bronze in Rio.

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