The closing ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics took place on 24 October, 1964 in the National Stadium.
Athletes from each country entered informally, despite plans to have a formal entrance. There did not appear to be any backup plan to sort athletes into their respective countries, and as a result the athletes rushed the field, sometimes arm in arm or riding piggyback, in a disorganised and chaotic spectacle.
Zambia had just declared independence from Nothern Rhodesia on that day and proudly marched under a newly made placard, but other placards were no-where to be seen. The Japanese television networks were praised for covering the event live without losing their professional demeanour.
When order was restored, the officially regulated ceremony was held, overseen by IOC president Avery Brundage. The athletes stood in a circle holding lights, and the large display above the field changed to read “SAYONARA”, which means “Goodbye” in Japanese. The national anthems of Greece, Japan, and Mexico – as the next Olympic host country – were played. As the closing ceremony completed with fireworks, the audience sang Hotaru no Hikari.
Photos provided by Czech Olympic Committee and Bulgarian Olympic Academy/Bulgarian Olympic Committee