Mixed feelings in Tokyo as Olympics end with record medal haul for Japan and a Covid-19 surge

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The closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on August 8, 2021, echoed the restraint of a Games that was transformed by Covid-19. Inside the Olympic bubble, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach thanked Japan for rising above the difficulties of hosting the delayed Tokyo 2020 event in the midst of a spreading pandemic. But outside the venues, the number of infections continued to rise in the Japanese capital, breaking single-day records for four straight days to tally 15,753 new cases on August 7, 2021, alone. The surge has left many people with mixed feelings about an Olympics that smashed Japan’s record for gold medals, but also created deep divisions in the country.

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