Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony: Live Blog

Japan 2020

The Olympic flame burns during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

TOKYO, Japan (BRPROUD) – Tokyo 2020 officially kicks off with the Opening Ceremony on Friday after a year-long hiatus due to COVID-19.

A LOOK AT TOKYO 2020’s COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

This year’s Olympics look different than previous years as the world continues to deal with a pandemic. For athletes, they must go through rigorous testing and follow strict restrictions.

Another major difference is the decision to host the Olympics without spectators.

OPENING

The ceremony opens with artistic graphic animations of the stadium before fading into a shot of an athlete. A countdown appears from 2013 to 2020.

A montage of athletes training appears on a large screen before closing in on an athlete walking forward to join others on a field. Shots of other athletes appear with a countdown until fireworks are seen going off around the stadium from the sky.

A lone athlete is seen on the field as she is joined by others while socially distanced. This athlete is middleweight boxer Arisa Tsubata. During the pandemic last year she was a nurse who treated COVID-19 patients.

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “THE RHYTHM OF TRADITION”

An Edo period song, “Kiyari Uta,” is performed by the Edo Firemanship Preservation Association.

Performers are shown dressed as woodworkers on the stage dancing until props are brought together to form the Olympic Rings. Performers surround the structure dancing in celebration.

ATHLETES MAKE THEIR ENTRANCE

Each nations’ athletes make their way in waving flags. Each nation has a male and female representative to hold its flag.

If you’ve caught yourself humming along to the music playing it’s because they’re melodies from popular Japanese video games. Some of these songs come from video games such as Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and much more.

Around 11,000 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees will be participating in this year’s Olympics (in case you were wondering.)

DRONE LIGHT SHOW

1,800 drones were used to create a sphere replicating the globe. Underneath, children start singing John Lennon’s Imagine. The stage fades to a pre-recorded video of global celebrities, including John Legend and Keith Urban, singing.

TOPSHOT – Drones fly to form an image of the Earth in the sky over the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo, on July 23, 2021. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP) (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC PRESIDENT THOMAS BACH SPEAKS

“Today is a moment of hope. Yes, it is very different from what all of us had imagined. But let us cherish this moment – finally, we are all here together,” he said.

OLYMPIC ANTHEM

The Olympics flag is raised as the anthem is sung.

PICTOGRAM PERFORMANCE

A live pictogram performance acts out all 50 pictograms. Pictograms were created and used in the 1964 Tokyo Games as a way to break language barriers with worldwide visitors.

LIGHTING OF THE OLYMPIC CAULDRON

The torch is carried by former baseball athletes Hideki Matsui, Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima. It’s then passed on to Hiroko Oohash and Junko Kitagawa, a doctor and nurse. From there seven-time Paralympic medalist Wakako Tsuchida takes it to a group of students. Finally, they hand it off to four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 23: Naomi Osaka of Team Japan carries the Olympic torch towards the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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