You've seen it all—children in light bulb jackets, Mario jumping up from Tokyo through green tunnels, and now Rio has graced us with another enigmatic symbol: Waltzing broccoli. If you're asking yourself are vegetables dancing at the closing ceremony, do not adjust your TV because, yes. Yes there are.
Okay, well not quite vegetables, more like rainbow bush-veggie-hybrids. Not quite teletubbies or boohbahs, either, but dangerously similar to the two and definitely just as engaging. They're clad in carrot, bell pepper, and celery colored tights and appear to be having the absolute time of their lives grooving to the music. If we're getting technical here, there's some fruit (i.e. grapes and raspberries) thrown in there for good measure as well.
As you'll see below, even Twitter was unable to parse exactly what these glorious objects were doing onstage and why they looked like crudités. As reporter Victor Mather of The New York Times put it, "in the spirit of Carnival, excess is certainly here. Even the broccoli can’t stop dancing." The BBC was quick to point out that these costumes were meant to look fluffy, not cruciferous, calling the multi-colored dance party "a tribute to Rio and the musicality of its people."
I could be reaching here, but these green hues could maybe, possibly be a nod to the environmental theme that was used in the opening ceremonies. The beginning of these Olympic games placed a lot of emphasis on the perils surrounding climate change, symbolized by twisting vines and small seedlings. Remember the bikes introducing the Olympic athletes? You know, the ones that were fully decked out with pinwheels and potted plants and driven by cheerful, smiling bikers? Well, maybe be have a similar vibe echoing here. Perhaps these dancing, fluorescent bushes (or broccolini) are a more optimistic take in their spring green, celebrating the earth on which we live.
Though no one really knew what to make of these fluffy creatures, their joy was palpable, as were the rest of the closing ceremony's dancers and singers. At IOC President Thomas Bach's call, the Olympic flame was extinguished, bringing the games to a close (though the dance party carried on afterward). Now, the world looks to Tokyo for forthcoming developments on the host city's 2020 summer games. Oh, right, and there are the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Regardless, it was an incredible sixteen days filled with spectacular visuals and broken records. Thank you, Rio, for sharing all the fun.