The opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics concluded today, with Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic flame. Osaka, the winner of the first ever Japanese Grand Slam tennis title, is the first Japanese athlete to win a singles Olympic gold medal.
The 2020 games will begin in Japan on July 24, 2020. Now the Olympic flame is being lit in the area of Villa Park, a few blocks from the main venue. Naomi Osaka, the first Japanese tennis player to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era, has taken part in the lighting ceremony. She will also be the first Japanese to compete in a Summer Olympics since the country boycotted the 1980 Moscow Games. Osaka won the Australian Open in 2017, the US Open in 2018 and the French Open in 2019. She was the first Japanese player to receive a wild card to the main draw of the French Open. Osaka has also been chosen as the torchbearer for the 2019 Osaka Ladies Open, the first tournament in which she has
In a low-key, solemn ceremony, Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Thursday evening. The first-time Olympian was chosen to light the flame on behalf of the Japanese people, who watch in hope for the days that lay ahead.. Read more about olympic cauldron tokyo 2020 and let us know what you think.
|Dates: July 23rd to August 8th, Tokyo time: BST +8|
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Naomi Osaka was chosen to ignite the torch, which represents the Olympics’ effort to be a beacon of hope.
It was the first day of Tokyo 2020, which opened a year later than expected and in the middle of a worldwide epidemic.
Friday’s opening ceremony, somewhat predictably, was not of the typical caliber. There will be no carnivals as in Rio or skydiving monarchs like in London, but there will be a more solemn tone, a somber reminder that the Games are taking place in a world currently confronting its greatest challenge.
“Today is a day of optimism,” stated International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach (IOC).
“Yes, it is very different from what we had anticipated. But let us savor this moment since it is the first time we have all come together.”
This Games will be different, with masks, positive tests, and a lack of spectators. But the Olympics are still the greatest spectacle on Earth, with athletes competing faster, higher, and stronger than ever before.
Susan Boyle, empty seats, protesters, drones…
The opening ceremony had already been marred by controversy before it began on Friday, with its director being dismissed on the day of the Games for making historic jokes about the Holocaust, and its composer resigning days earlier when it was revealed that he had harassed disabled students at school.
The ceremony itself was simple, a reminder of everything that the globe has been through while also offering hope for the future.
The absence of a crowd, though, was striking as socially isolated and disguised athletes – though others did not – waved to empty seats, with no clamor following their march into the stadium.
A 22-strong Team GB delegation was among them, headed by rowing and sailing flag bearers Moe Sbihi and Hannah Mills, respectively.
The few people inside applauded sporadically. In the 68,000-seater stadium, only the media and 900 dignitaries were present, including US First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The build-up to these Games has been lengthy, and it is not one that everyone is looking forward to. Hundreds of people had gathered outside the stadium as the hours ticked down to the commencement of the event, brimming with enthusiasm and pride and eager to take part.
However, as the day gave way to night, the atmosphere deteriorated, with protestors raising their voices with shouts of “stop the Olympics,” which were heard by the few spectators in the stadium.
To the interior, where everything was muted yet personal, a tribute to the world’s strength and unity in the face of a global danger.
The event also paid homage to sport’s universality, its ability to bring people from all walks of life together and give a feeling of optimism, even in the darkest of times.
“Here is a vision for the future,” said Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto, “one that symbolizes ‘unity in variety,’ one of peace and respect for one another.”
“This is the power of sport, as well as a manifestation of the Olympic movement’s core ideals. This is the core of it.”
The Olympic cauldron, a symbol of the sun atop Mount Fuji, stood in the center of the stadium. It eventually bloomed like a flower, symbolizing “vitality and optimism.”
Earlier, the Japanese flag was brought into the stadium by athletes and healthcare staff, followed by a minute of silence to commemorate those who had died.
The Olympic rings were then fashioned out of wood from trees grown from seeds donated by athletes in 1964, when the Games were held in Tokyo for the final time.
The performances continued after the athlete procession, which was as long as ever. Before artists such as John Legend and Keith Urban performed an emotional version of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Imagine,’ 1,824 drones created a spinning globe above the stadium.
Susan Boyle was a rather unexpected addition following the speeches and the hoisting of the Olympic flag. It’s right, you read that correctly.
Although the Scottish singer did not go to Tokyo, her version of ‘Wings To Fly,’ a song by a Japanese folk group published in 1971, accompanied the symbolic release of doves.
Fear not, there will be no real doves, but rather projections and other effects honoring the Games’ “peaceful purpose.”
Following that came a brilliant display of sport pictograms, but the last performance was saved for Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam winner who represents the new Japan and is bringing change to her country.
The torch was passed to the 23-year-old by 14 people, including former and current athletes, physicians, nurses, and students, as well as doctors, nurses, and students.
Before fireworks decorated the Tokyo night sky, she climbed ‘Mount Fuji,’ igniting the flame.
And then there’s the sport. The first medals will be given on Saturday, with four British cyclists participating in the men’s cycling road race and shooter Seonaid McIntosh competing in the women’s 10m air rifle.
Adam Peaty, Helen Glover, and the men’s artistic gymnastics team are among those who have begun their campaigns.
There are just four words left to say after that.
The Games may now commence.
Tokyo Olympics: 2020 Games begin as Naomi Osaka lights Olympic flame in poignant ceremony.. Read more about bbc olympics 2021 presenters and let us know what you think.
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