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Updated 2:54 AM  |  August 22, 2016
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Thank you for following the Rio Olympics with The Post
One last display of fireworks in Rio. (EPA/Jose Mendez)

That’s it, the Olympic flag has been handed over to Tokyo, the Olympic flame has been doused and … well, that samba party will probably continue into next week, but the point is the Rio Games are over! We want to thank of all of our readers for following along with us as we presented our coverage of the 2016 Olympics, both here at the live blog and elsewhere at washingtonpost.com.

Before we go, here’s a quick recap of some of Sunday’s events before the Closing Ceremonies:

— American Galen Rupp earned a bronze medal in the men’s marathon — in just the second try ever at that distance for the accomplished runner. The gold went to Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, and Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia won silver.

— The U.S. men’s indoor volleyball team won a bronze, beating Russia in five sets after starting off in a 0-2 hole.

— 20-year-old Kyle Snyder became the youngest U.S. wrestling gold medalist.

— Mongolian wrestling coaches tore off their clothes to protest a scoring decision.

— Middleweight Claressa Shields became the first American boxer to win two straight gold medals.

— Behind Kevin Durant, the U.S. men’s basketball team reasserted its dominance and thrashed Serbia for a gold medal.

— Spain got the men’s basketball bronze, defeating Australia.

The U.S. Olympic Committee will always remember Rio fondly, given the massive haul of its athletes. Americans earned 121 medals in all, 51 more than the second-place nation, China, for the biggest margin in a non-boycotted Games since 1932. That was also more than the previous record medal total for the U.S., 110 in 2008.

Great Britain also had a banner Games, collecting 67 medals, more than it earned on London’s home soil in 2012, including more golds (27) and silvers (23) than even mighty China. Rounding out the top 10 in medals were Russia (56), Germany (42), France (42), Japan (41), Australia (29), Italy (28) and Canada (22).

For a complete look at the 2016 medals count, click here. And thanks again for checking out The Post’s live blog, we had a blast bringing it to you!

Olympic flame doused as Rio Games end with more fireworks and samba dancing
Mariene de Castro performs during the extinguishing of the Olympic flame. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

The Rio Games are over. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told the crowd Sunday at Maracaña Stadium that the host city had closed the 2016 event after completing its handover to Tokyo, the 2020 host of the Summer Games.

More closure came when the Olympic flame in the stadium was doused as Brazilian singer Mariene de Castro performed. A cascade of rain was part of the production, although it likely seemed hardly necessary to the thousands in attendance, particularly the athletes, who had been pelted with rain the entire evening.

Of course, true to the spirit of the host city, that moment did not douse the party spirit at the stadium. More fireworks went off, akin to the start of the Closing Ceremonies, and the infectious samba music started up again — in a tribute to the annual Carnival — all the better to keep everyone dancing out the door.

Japanese prime minister shows up — in Super Mario costume
The prime Mario, er, minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. (REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov)

Well, that’s an entrance by a high-ranking global political figure you don’t see every day. During the Closing Ceremonies, a figure in a “Super Mario” costume appeared — and revealed himself to be Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe.

The moment occurred during the ceremonial handoff from Rio to Tokyo, the host of the 2020 Summer Games. The Japanese delegation apparently was keen on highlighting that country’s longstanding leadership in the field of video games.

In a nod to the popular Nintendo game, Abe first channeled Super Mario in a video at Rio’s Maracaña Stadium. The prime minister was shown in a car in Tokyo saying, “I will not make it to Rio in time!” He solved that problem by turning into the iconic character, then dropping into a tunnel that was conveniently drilled through the Earth to Brazil.

You know, as one does.

After winning silver medal in marathon, Ethiopian runner raises arms in protest
Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa. AFP PHOTO / Adrian Dennis / Getty Images
Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa. AFP PHOTO / Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

By Kevin Sieff

NAIROBI — When he crossed the Olympics marathon finish line, Feyisa Lilesa put his hands above his head in an “X.” Most of those who watched Lilesa’s spectacular silver medal performance didn’t know what that meant — or just how dangerous a protest they were watching.

Lilesa was protesting the Ethiopian government’s killing of hundreds of the country’s Oromo people — an ethnic majority that has long complained about being marginalized by the country’s government. The group has held protests this year over plans to reallocate Oromo land. Many of those protests ended in bloodshed. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 400 people have been killed since November.

For months, the Oromo have been using the same “X” gesture that Lilesa, 26, used at the finish line.

At a news conference following the race, he reiterated his defiant message.

Read the full story here 

Mayor of Rio booed during handoff to Japan
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes waves the Olympic flag next to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images)

One recurring feature of the the Closing Ceremonies is the handoff of the Games from the current host city to the next one. When that time came during Sunday’s event, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, was met with noticeable booing.

Paes was on hand to pass the Olympics on to Tokyo, the host of the 2020 Summer Games (the Winter Olympics have their own chain of custody). His reception was a reminder that while Rio’s Games seem to have run more smoothly than many had anticipated — give or take a certain swimmer’s tales of robbery at gunpoint — many residents of that city are still unhappy about the resources devoted to a sports event when there are so many other urgent needs.

Rio Olympic Games 2016 Live Updates

The 2016 Olympic Games run from Aug. 5 through Aug. 21 in Rio de Janeiro. Throughout, we will be chronicling the latest news and more from our reporters in Rio and Washington.

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