In an Olympic Games Tokyo opening ceremony overshadowed by the coronavirus, Tokyo 2020 organizers paid tribute to medical staff as athletes from around the world protested in a nearly empty stadium, their smiles hidden behind masks for the first time.
The ceremony was typically a celebrity-filled spectacle stripped of its glamor, with fewer than 1,000 people, strict social distancing rules, and signs urging viewers to “stay put.”
Olympic Games Organizers also sent the traditional message of peace when global pop stars sang ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, while drones formed the shape of the Olympic emblem in the sky above the stadium and turned into the shape of the balloon.
“With the world in a difficult situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, I would like to express my respect and gratitude to the medical staff and all those who work hard every day to overcome the difficulties,” said the chairman of the committee. ‘organization. . , Seiko Hashimoto.
The ceremony culminated with a fusion of traditional kabuki theater with elaborate makeup and costumes and jazz piano improvisation on a stage in the shape of Mount Fuji, crowned by the Olympic flame kettle.
Most countries were represented by male and female flag bearers during the first Olympics, but not all have taken action against the pandemic.
Teams from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Pakistani flaggers marched without masks, which contrasts strangely with protocol and the vast majority of other athletes present at the ceremony.
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Either way, it marked a unification of the world with hundreds of millions of viewers across the globe and at different stages of the pandemic to see the start of the greatest sports spectacle.
Members of the Canadian delegation wore rainbow patches, the symbol of the LGBT community, on their jackets.
The First Lady of the United States, Jill Biden, applauded the Americans, as did French President Emmanuel Macron for the France team.
The Olympic oath taken by athletes at the end of the parade has been updated for the Tokyo Games, and athletes first committed to the Olympics in support of inclusion, equality, and equality. no discrimination.
Olympic rings colors
The reveal also featured fireworks in indigo and white, the colors of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 emblem, and was a nod to Japanese tradition represented by giant wooden Olympic rings associated with the 1964 Tokyo Games. , also organized by Tokyo.
A much smaller number of athletes marched in the parade of the teams, many of whom flew just before their competitions and left shortly after to avoid infection.
Delegations did their best to liven up the atmosphere. Uganda, dressed in striking traditional costumes, danced a few bars as the Argentinian delegation waved as they entered.
Organizers, postponed for a year, have been forced to take the unprecedented step of holding the Olympics without fans as the novel coronavirus is on the rise again and is killing lives around the world.
The opening recapped Japan’s journey to the Games and the challenges the world has faced since the Japanese capital was chosen as a venue in 2013.
The opening video showed how the coronavirus struck in 2020, with bans forcing an unprecedented postponement just four months before the Games open and triggering an isolated prep rollercoaster for athletes.
A minute of silence was observed “for all the family and friends we have lost, especially because of the coronavirus”, and the Israeli athletes killed at the Munich Games in 1972 were mentioned.
Effects of the Covid-19 pandemic
Japanese Emperor Naruhito and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, both masked, applauded the athletes after they bowed to each other before sitting down socially.
“Today is a moment of hope. Yes, it is very different from what we all imagined. But in the end, we are all here together,” said Bach in the opening speech.
“You fought. You persevered. You never gave up. Today you are making your Olympic dreams come true,” he said.
Unlike his grandfather, who opened the Games in 1964 with a Japanese word meaning ‘congratulations’, Naruhito opted for a more neutral Japanese word that was closer to ‘remember’.
The ceremony was marked by significant absenteeism, including former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe courting the Tokyo Games.
Big backers have also stayed on the sidelines, underscoring strong opposition to the COVID-weary Japan event.
Hundreds of people demonstrated around the site shouting “Stop the Olympics.”
Only a third of the host country received a single dose of vaccine, raising fears that the Games will become a major event.