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The Olympic Games open in Tokyo after a year of waiting

The Olympic Games open in Tokyo after a year of waiting

The Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the Games in Tokyo on July 23, 2021 afp_tickers

This content was published on Jul 23, 2021 – Jul 15:21,


The Tokyo Olympics officially kicked off Friday after being postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, amid strict measures and restrictions to prevent the spread of the epidemic and a stressful atmosphere.

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito announced the “opening” of the Tokyo Olympics, the 32nd edition of the Summer Games, at the Olympic Stadium. “I announce the opening of the Tokyo Games,” according to the ancient formula, in a stadium empty of fans, except for about a thousand invitees.

Under the influence of the pandemic, the festive atmosphere in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The epidemic that has terrified the world for more than a year was strongly present: from salutations to the medical staff, with a nurse participating in carrying the huge Japanese flag, and broadcasting a video of athletes exercising each alone, in reference to the sports matches that were stopped due to Covid, to an unprecedented show that adhered to With social distancing rules.

“Today is a time for hope,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Yes, it is very different from what we imagined, but we will take advantage of these times, because we are finally gathered here. (…) This feeling of loneliness, is the light at the end of the dark horizon of the epidemic.”

The opening was accompanied by the launching of fireworks and the presentation of dance panels, while drones formed a globe in the sky of Tokyo, all amidst stands that accommodate 68,000 spectators, but almost empty.

– The lucky ones –

Among those who attended the opening of the “epidemic Olympics”, as the Japanese call it, were US First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.

About a thousand spectators watched the 206 delegation show. While the opening ceremony was broadcast live all over the world.

The competitions will last for two weeks.

Hundreds of residents of the capital gathered at the Olympic stadium. “We are here for the atmosphere, the lights and the fireworks,” Mako Fukuhara told AFP, expressing the hope that “we can at least feel the atmosphere.”

The presence of the Japanese was not actually expected in the vicinity of the Olympic stadium, especially since opinion polls showed over a long period the opposition of the majority of the population to holding the Games due to the successive waves of Covid-19 with several parameters.

– Precious and precious –

While the Olympics is expected to be a dulled version of previous festivities, organizers are trying to compensate viewers by relying on advanced broadcasting technologies and innovations to get a feel of the action.

OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Services) has created audio recordings of crowd noises at previous games to adapt to each sport, and will be broadcast at competition venues.

Athletes will also be able to receive encouragement through screens of video (selfies) sent from all over the world, and communicate by video with their loved ones once their competitions are over.

Despite the harsh measures taken before the arrival of the participants in the Olympics, such as undergoing several PCR tests and downloading health tracking and monitoring applications, most notably “OCHA”, some injuries appeared among athletes and mission administrators in the days leading up to the opening ceremony.

To avoid a spike in infections, organizers have imposed a ban on hugging or shaking hands at the victory celebration.

The Olympics faced many setbacks: the high-cost rebuilding of the main stadium project, while the delay cost an additional $2.6 billion, the resignation of Organizing Committee Chairman Tsunekazu Takeda in 2019 over allegations of bribery, and the resignation of Organizing Committee Chairman Yoshiro Mori in February. Last February, after the publication of what he said was considered insulting to women, until the resignation of the music composer Keigo Aoyamada, who participated in the design of the opening ceremony, against the background of an old story of bullying against his schoolmates with special needs.

The creative director of the opening and closing ceremonies, Hiroshi Sasaki, resigned after photos of him likening an overweight comedian to a pig were published. On Thursday, the director of the opening ceremony, Kentaro Kobayashi, a well-known theater character in Japan, was sacked over a comic scene more than a decade ago in which he addressed the Jewish Holocaust.

After dismantling the “mine” after the other, the celebration finally took place, even though the games lacked their most important components, that is, the fans absent from the stands, knowing that the Japanese spent dearly to establish these games, which the emperor acknowledged were “never easy.”

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