A performer stood up in the middle of the venue alone, and a shadow in the shape of a seedling slowly extended behind him. He walked to a treadmill. The opening ceremony opened with this message: The athletes did not give up and relax for a moment under the restrictions of the global epidemic. After a long period of preparation, it finally ushered in the opening of the Tokyo Olympics.
At 8pm Tokyo time on Friday (July 23), the light from the Tokyo New National Arena added another color to the prosperous Japan. The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, which has been a long time late for art, celebration and national glory, finally meets with the world.
After a series of performances themed on Japanese history, traditional art, industrial processes and popular culture, a silent ceremony was held for those who died during the global epidemic.
For the global Chinese audience, the admission of the teams from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan also has its own attractions.
At the same time as the global focus on the opening ceremony, there were some protests against the Olympic Games held during the epidemic in Tokyo.
Art, celebration and national glory
As a symbol of historical heritage, Tokyo, the second host of the Olympic Games, also pushed five wooden rings into the venue, and then formed the Olympic symbol-that was when Tokyo’s last Olympic Games were sowed in 1964 by athletes from various countries, 57 years later The trees are used to make the Olympic rings.
Although the public is not allowed to enter the venue, heads of state such as Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, Emperor Naruhito of Japan, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, and Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States, , Dignitaries or officials are present.
As traditionally, Greece is the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games. Its delegation took the lead among the 207 participating countries and regions, and Japan entered the venue last as the host.
However, due to epidemic restrictions, the number of delegations from various countries at the opening ceremony was smaller than in previous sessions. There was no scene of a delegation of hundreds of people attending together. Most delegations only sent dozens of representatives to attend. The British delegation sent about 30 people to attend the delegation’s admission ceremony.
In addition, this Olympics has adopted a new measure. The delegations of all countries have a female flag bearer and a male flag bearer to lead together. This is the first time in history.
The final entry ceremony was completed within two hours. The theme of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony “Unity in Diversity” (Unity in Diversity) was announced on the spot; after that, the singer John Legend performed the late famous singer John Lie. The famous song “Imagine” by John Lennon. Susan Boyle’s singing is used as background music to accompany the dove of peace with simulation effects.
In his opening speech, Seiko Hashimoto, chairman of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, expressed his gratitude to the anti-epidemic workers who have struggled on the front line for more than a year.
Bach said that the Olympics was a “time of unity” and at the same time faced an “unprecedented challenge.”
“A Moment of Hope”
Seiko Hashimoto said that Tokyo has survived the first postponement challenge in Olympic history.
“People hand in hand one after another to pass on hope, and now we are able to welcome this day,” she said.
“The whole world is facing the huge challenge of COVID-19. I hope to express my gratitude and respect to all key workers, including medical staff and others around the world, who have shown such great determination to overcome These challenges.”
She also thanked the people of Japan, the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and all the organizations dedicated to making the Olympics possible.
“Today is a moment of hope,” Bach said. “Yes, it is very different from what we imagined, but let us cherish this moment because we are finally here together: 205 National Olympic Committee and IOC refugee representatives. The team lives under the same roof in the Olympic Village.”
“We are here because of you, our kind masters, the Japanese people. We want to express our wholehearted gratitude and respect to you.”
He said that the world needs unity more than ever before: “The feeling of unity-it is the light at the dark end of this global epidemic.”
After the speech, Emperor Naruhito announced the official opening of the Tokyo Olympics, and now sparkling fireworks are lit.
Afterwards, the Olympic flag came into the arena and was raised next to the Japanese flag.
After that, a most extraordinary performance caught everyone’s attention: several performers simulated 50 sports pictograms with their bodies, which was extremely shocking.
Naomi Osaka lights the torch
In the last part of the opening ceremony, on March 25 this year, starting from Fukushima, the Olympic flame passed by about 2,000 people entered the venue.
In the stadium, the torch was first passed by three former sports legends in Japan. After a round of passing in the stadium, including some students at school, the torch was finally passed to the Japanese tennis grand slam player Naomi Osaka.
The 23-year-old tennis player with Japanese and Haitian descent walked up the steps to the torch altar inspired by the sun, lit the torch for the event, and fireworks were lit again to illuminate the night sky of Tokyo.
The belated Tokyo Olympics
The Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed for one year under the global pandemic of the new crown epidemic, has arrived late. While Tokyo is still in a state of emergency, more than 11,300 athletes from 207 countries will compete in various medal events that they have waited for an additional year in the next two weeks.
When the Tokyo Olympics was postponed in March 2020, the organizing committee claimed that this year’s Olympic flame would become “the light at the end of the tunnel.” One year later, the global epidemic is still going on. The tunnel is not at the end, but people Still looking forward to Friday’s Olympic flame is at least a symbol of hope.
“I think that when you walk into the stadium, it will be a moment of happiness and relief,” IOC President Thomas Bach said earlier. “Especially a happy moment for athletes. Because I know how much they long for this moment.”
“Then, they can finally be here, they can enjoy this moment, in a very special situation.”
On the spot-BBC reporter Sofia Montero (Sofia Montero) from the New National Arena
It is a surreal experience to watch the grand opening ceremony in a stadium that can usually seat 68,000 people but is now almost empty.
Fanfare scenes, theater-like performances, famous athletes holding flags, Kabuki, dazzling fireworks… all this feels like a very private performance, I just watched it with very few people.
Outside the stadium, under the hot air, hundreds of Japanese locals wanted to get a glimpse of the inside story. The atmosphere is indeed lack of partying: because of the epidemic, Tokyo citizens have been told to stay at home. Although there are widespread opposition to the Olympics, the people I have interviewed are full of expectations and pride.
But as night fell, the joyful laughter turned into angry shouts. When we were instructed to stand up and perform a silent ceremony to mourn the people who died of the new crown virus disease in the past year, we could clearly hear the protests outside the stadium. This is a chilling and thought-provoking reminder that most people in Japan are still angry that the Olympics will be held as scheduled.
Olympic Games under the global pandemic of COVID-19
In Tokyo in the next two weeks, all people will be exposed to the most details related to epidemic prevention such as masks, quarantine measures and nucleic acid testing. There is no doubt that this Olympic Games will be different from any other in history.
As the number of local COVID-19 infections has continued to rise rapidly in recent days, Tokyo will be in a state of emergency for epidemic prevention throughout the Olympic Games. Therefore, the decision to hold the Olympics as scheduled until the opening day was still criticized by some Japanese public. Most people said that they hoped the Olympics would be cancelled or postponed again.
Until the opening day, there were still people in some parts of Tokyo protesting the holding of the Tokyo Olympics.
However, for the organizers, safety is the top priority. A large number of epidemic prevention measures will be adopted for the Tokyo Olympics, including the games will be held behind closed doors, and local or overseas spectators will not be allowed to enter the venue.
BBC Chinese special correspondent Zheng Zhonglan reported that during the opening ceremony, when the sound inside the venue was heard outside the venue, the people outside were clamoring, which was completely different from the original silence-about 5 minutes later the fireworks were released, and the people outside the venue also cheered loudly, as if Forget the rule not to make loud noises during the epidemic.
He said that at the other end, there were still protesting Olympic groups chanting slogans: Many protesters were holding slogans, asking the police to give way, and don’t stop them from entering the protest. At one time, the police mobilized nearly a hundred people to maintain order at the scene. Some supporters of the Olympics took the opportunity to provoke and push the protesters. However, when the police intervened and separated the two sides, the dispute was quickly settled.
Contestants are also subject to strict restrictions. They must wear masks at any time except eating, training, competition and sleeping, minimize physical contact with others, and conduct nucleic acid tests daily.
However, before the Olympics officially started, the epidemic had already affected the contestants.
On Friday (July 23), 19 new cases appeared among Olympic-related personnel, including 11 athletes who tested positive in Tokyo. The total number of infections of Olympic-related personnel has reached 106.
Six athletes in the British Olympic delegation have been identified as close contacts of the infected person on the flight to Tokyo, and they need to isolate themselves in the room upon arrival.
Delegation of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
In this Olympics, China sent its largest delegation outside of the Olympic Games, with a total number of 777 people, including 431 athletes, participating in 225 sub-events out of 30 major events. Only surfing, baseball/softball and handball are among the major events of the Tokyo Olympics, but there are no Chinese athletes.
At the opening ceremony, the Chinese delegation was arranged to play in the 108th place. The flag bearers were women’s volleyball leader Zhu Ting and Taekwondo Olympic champion Zhao Shuai. Under the new regulations of the International Olympic Committee, Zhu Ting became the first female flag bearer of the Chinese delegation at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics.
The Hong Kong team also sent a 97-member delegation, the largest since the transfer of sovereignty, including 46 athletes, participating in 13 events. The flag bearers of the Hong Kong delegation are men’s foil main force Zhang Jialang and badminton “three dynasties veteran” Xie Yingxue.
The Chinese Taipei delegation sent 66 players to participate, including the world’s No. 1 badminton women’s singles Dai Ziying, and the “weightlifting goddess” Guo Weichun, who holds three world records. She served as Chinese Taipei with male tennis player Lu Yanxun. Flag bearer of the delegation.
What’s New in Dongao
The Tokyo Olympic Games will reach 339 medal events out of a record 33 events, including five new ones. Women accounted for about 48.8% of the Tokyo Olympics, which is also the highest in Olympic history.
The five new projects are karate, skateboarding, rock climbing, baseball/softball and surfing. Among them, baseball/softball is not the first time that it appeared in the Olympics, but the last time it was an official Olympic event was already in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In boxing, canoe slalom (also known as slalom), canoe racing, cycling, rowing and swimming, etc., some new competitions have also been added. Among the swimming events, a mixed 4×100-meter medley relay has been added for men and women, and a mixed men’s and women’s relay competition has also been added for the triathlon.
These programs are added to allow the Olympics to attract more young audiences and in response to the “urbanization trend of sports.”
IOC Chairman Bach said earlier: “We want to bring sports to young people. With so many choices for young people, we can no longer expect them to come to us automatically. We have to go to them.”
This year’s Olympics also paid attention to environmental protection. All the medals were made of recycled mobile phone materials. The aluminum used to make the Olympic torch was recycled from materials used in temporary housing after the 2011 Kanto Earthquake in Japan.
In terms of venues, only eight new venues were built for the Tokyo Olympics, and most of the energy used by the venues is renewable energy.
Due to the losses caused by the one-year postponement, the total cost of hosting the Tokyo Olympics has risen by 22% and will reach 11.5 billion pounds.