With no followers in attendance and a lowered variety of athletes becoming a member of the parade, the Tokyo Olympics’ Opening Ceremony formally kicked off the Summer Games on Friday as tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron.
The ceremony drew to an in depth round midnight in Japan as a spectacular firework show illuminated the Tokyo night time sky.
The surreal circumstances of the Games’ curtain raiser — not like some other earlier opening ceremony — offered a glimpse of what’s to come back over the subsequent 16 days with the coronavirus pandemic set to loom giant over proceedings.
In case you missed it, this is what occurred on the Opening Ceremony:
The attendance: According to Tokyo 2020 organizers, 950 folks attended the opening ceremony — solely a handful in a venue with a capability of 68,000 — because the 206 delegations competing have been formally welcomed to the Games. US first girl Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron attended the occasion. With athletes anticipated to reach within the Olympic Village 5 days previous to their competitors and depart a most of two days after, fewer took half within the parade of countries in comparison with earlier Olympics. Team USA, for instance, had greater than 200 athletes strolling by the stadium out of a workforce that’s over 600 sturdy, whereas 63 of Australia’s 472 athletes took half.
Tongan Pita Taufatofua made a return: Taufatofua first caught the eye of Olympic spectators in Rio 5 years in the past when he appeared shirtless carrying conventional Tongan gown and coated in oil. He then repeated the act on the PyeongChang Winter Olympics two years later. However, Taufatofua had competitors this time round, with Vanuatu’s flag-bearer, rower Riilio Rii, additionally popping out shirtless and oiled.
Athletes remained socially distant: Many of the athletes remained socially distant as they walked by the stadium, however others — reminiscent of Argentina and Portugal — have been exuberant, breaking into cheering and dancing. The procession started with Greece, the primary nation to host the trendy Olympic Games, whose athletes have been adopted by these from the 29-strong Refugee Olympic Team, which debuted on the 2016 Rio Olympics. It concluded with the US and France — the 2 international locations internet hosting the subsequent two editions of the Games — and at last Japan.
Covid-19 victims remembered: There have been additionally tributes to those that have misplaced their lives through the pandemic, in addition to to the 11 Israeli athletes killed in a terror assault on the 1972 Munich Olympics. How the coronavirus pandemic has affected athletes over the previous 18 months was additionally acknowledged. Japanese boxer and nurse Arisa Tsubata — whose Olympic goals have been dashed when a qualifying occasion was canceled — was seen operating alone on a treadmill in darkness firstly of the opening ceremony.
What to count on subsequent: Starting Saturday, the primary medals of the Games might be distributed; after months of challenges and uncertainties, Olympic organizers will lastly be capable to let sport do the speaking.
Read extra right here.