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    A boy from Mangueira favela watch fireworks over Maracana Stadium during the 2016 Olympics closing ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016

    The Finishing Line: Rio Olympics End in Stylish Closing Ceremony (VIDEO)

    © AFP 2019 / CARL DE SOUZA
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    The magnificent sports fiesta known as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro comes to a spectacular close.

    It’s no secret that the Rio Olympics were held during somewhat troubled times in Brazil, with the ailing economy and a political crisis marring the setting for the sports event.

    And the Olympic Games themselves had their fair share of scandals and mishaps, both sports-related and otherwise.

    But does it mean that Rio Olympics were a failure? Charlie Castro, one of the US journalists who were covering the event, doesn’t think so.

    "I’ve been impressed… Everything has been positive, great atmosphere," he told Sputnik.

    He also remarked that all the concerns regarding security issues and the Zika virus that were frequently voiced prior to and during the Olympics appear to have been overblown.

    "Maybe it was made a big deal, but I think it was a great environment… The country definitely was happy about the Games and everything," Castro added.

    The journalist also said that while this time he came to Rio for work, he does hope to visit the city as a tourist sometime.

    His sentiments were also shared by Carla and Julia, a pair of tourists from Argentina who travelled a long way from the southern reaches of their country to Rio.

    "At first there were these negative articles circulating in our country, and the safety concerns. But we felt really safe here, there were lots of police around," they said.

    The tourists also added that they were greatly impressed by Rio itself, and how the city manages to combine urbanism and nature.

    "We’ve been to many beautiful places, this is the best part of the Olympics to remember," they said.

    The closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics was also nothing short of impressive.

    ​It got off to a somewhat inauspicious start, when a favela located near the Maracana Stadium apparently suffered a blackout shortly before the event.

    ​Some people were also quick to point out how the flamboyant ceremony, in a sense, highlighted the inequity of the Brazilian society.

    A boy from favelas gazes at the Maracana Stadium where the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games takes place.

     

    Nevertheless, the ceremony itself was a sight to see.

    And Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe definitely managed to steal the show during the ceremony of passing the Olympic flag to Tokyo, when he made an entrance dressed as Mario, the iconic Nintendo videogame character and mascot.

     

    One thing is for sure – the 2016 Rio Olympics will be remembered for years to come.

    Related:

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