Athletes Respond Like Tradition, Modern Spectacle Converges at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony – NBC 7 San Diego


After a year of delay, athletes and performers took to the pitch at Tokyo Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the XXXII Olympiad on Friday night, which served as a tribute to Japan’s rich history and a celebration of the athletes. of more than 200 delegations competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A powerful opening streak began with middleweight boxer and nurse Arisa Tsubata running alone on a treadmill, replicating the lonely training experience of Olympic athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic. As more athletes became visible on the pitch, the digital projections around them symbolized the unifying power of the sport, showing that they were together despite their physical separation. The theme of cohesion was further punctuated by elastic bands physically connecting the performers in a dazzling visual spectacle.

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Modern technological staging merged with Japanese tradition throughout the opening ceremony. After a moving performance of the Japanese national anthem “Kimi Ga Yo” by Japanese singer and songwriter Misia, the Edo Firemanship Preservation Association performed the traditional Japanese working song “Kiyari Uta” as she “built” rings Giant Olympic Games in wood carved from trees planted in Japan by athletes from each of the nations participating in the 1964 Olympic Games. These games were held on the site of the current Tokyo Olympic Stadium. The performance also included incredible footwork from Japanese tap dancer Kumagai Kazunori.

With the placement of the Olympic rings in front of the stadium mount. Fuji’s centerpiece bringing the opening ceremony full circle, it was time for the parade of nations. In a historic first, each delegation was allowed two standard bearers – a man and a woman – to represent gender equality at the Olympic Games. Argentina caught the world’s attention from the start with the loudest entry of the night, as the athletes showed little restraint despite the physical challenges that await them for the next two weeks. Meanwhile, shirtless feeling Pita Taufatofua of Tonga continued to gain social media attention during her third opening ceremony appearance, five years after going viral in Rio.

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The United States team entered the procession penultimate, with flag bearers Sue Bird (basketball) and Eddy alvarez (baseball) offering their frank thoughts as they entered the stadium.

“The energy is crazy,” Bird said. “I know our country is going through a difficult time right now, but right now we all feel united and it’s amazing.”

An excited Alvarez added: “It’s absolutely amazing. Thank god I have Sue here supporting me, because I’m freaking out a bit, guys. I will not lie.

Megan Rapinoe of the United States women’s soccer team said she couldn’t be prouder of her flag bearer fiancee, Bird.

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Rapinoe and his team were unable to attend the Opening Ceremony due to their schedule, but that didn’t stop the team from celebrating in their own way, as evidenced by Alex Morgan’s post.

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Naya Tapper of the US women’s rugby team, meanwhile, took to Twitter to show off her ceremonial style.

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As the athletes stood united at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee’s slogan, “Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together” appeared on the pitch, marking the start of a dazzling display of 1,824 drones that formed the Tokyo 2020 logo and a glowing globe hovering over Tokyo. Angelique Kidjo, Ajejandro Sanz, John Legend and Keith Urban led a performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine” before Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee Chairman Hashimoto Seiko and International Olympic Committee Chairman Thomas Bach address to athletes and a global audience.

“Today is a time of hope,” Bach said. “Yes, it’s very different from what we all imagined. But let’s cherish this moment – well, we’re all here together. “

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Following the Olympic flag-raising ceremony, an innovative and surprisingly physical pantomime performance gave 50 of the Games pictograms – originally created for the 1964 Tokyo Games – a vibrant life like never before.

A kabuki dance and piano performance by Grammy-winning Hiromi cleansed the arena of negative energy to make way for Olympic torchbearers, including Japanese athletes and medical professionals. In the end, a 23-year-old Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka was the last torchbearer, ascending to the cauldron at the top of Mount Olympic Stadium. Fuji-inspired main stage to light the flame and conclude one of the most memorable Opening Ceremonies in Olympic history.

Osaka took to Twitter after the ceremony, calling it “the greatest sporting achievement and honor” she will ever have in her life.

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