As the Olympic games concluded in Tokyo, the next city to host, Paris, has already started its celebration.
During the closing ceremony on Sunday, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo received and waved an Olympic flag in the Tokyo stadium, a traditional pass to the next city. But the celebration then had a few twists to how the handover is usually done.
The French national anthem was played by the National Orchestra of France in a filmed video that took viewers all over sites in Paris.
Then, a live broadcast took viewers straight into the handover celebration in the streets of Paris. The Paris 2024 Olympic flag was unfurled from the Eiffel Tower, which organizers said set a world record as the largest flag ever flown — it’s almost the size of a football field. And the Patrouille Acrobatique de France, conducted a flyover that displayed the country’s flag in the sky.
Visuals presented at the event also showcased what the Paris games may look like in three years. Organizers are planning to put the competitions in the center of the city, with the opening ceremony slated to take place along the Seine River in the middle of Paris, rather than a stadium.
French president Emmanuel Macron delivered short remarks, saying the updated Olympic motto: “Faster, Higher, Stronger. Together.” On stage near the Eiffel Tower were also French Olympic athletes who had returned from the Tokyo games.
The handover even took viewers out of this world — literally. Aboard the International Space Station, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet tweeted that he and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide held their own Olympic handover and displayed the Olympic flag together.
Paris has not hosted the Olympic games in almost 100 years; the last time was in 1924.