Tokyo 2020: What to Expect During the Opening Ceremony


The opening ceremony of what has been marketed as the 2020 Olympics finally takes place on Friday night (Friday morning US time) – delayed by a year.

The event at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo will in many ways resemble the opening ceremonies of the past.

But the most striking difference is that, as with almost every Olympic event, there will be no fans. In a stadium designed to accommodate tens of thousands of people, nearly 1,000 statesmen and news media will be there to watch the event live due to strict pandemic restrictions.

As for the show, the organizers, as always, are mum about which J-pop bands or crossover opera singers will be performing. But history gives us a pretty good idea of ​​the few things we’ll see.

  • Mostly there will be talks about the ideals of the Olympics.

  • International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach will be introduced as a former fencing gold medalist. Probably multiple times.

  • Some combination of singers, dancers, mimes, and puppeteers will celebrate Japan’s history and culture.

  • The show could be a little less spectacular than usual. “The opening ceremonies in the past were a big celebration, they were magnificent,” said Takayuki Hioki, executive producer of the games’ ceremonies. “More than that, we created something with a strong message that resonates with the audience. It’s more about emotional connection than excitement.”

  • There will be a parade of nations, and it will be of infinite length.

  • The Olympic torch will come and someone will light the cauldron. This is the ceremony’s most closely guarded secret, but The New York Times has a good track record of guessing cauldron lighters. This year We proposed 10 candidateswas led by four-time gold medalist wrestler Kaori Icho. (Bonus early bird predictions: Teddy Riner for the 2024 Games in Paris; 2028 in Los Angeles, Magic Johnson; 2032 in Brisbane, Australia, by Ian Thorpe.)

As of now, the entire event is scheduled for three and a half hours, starting at 8:00 AM Japan time, 7 AM East, 4 AM in the Pacific. But past ceremonies almost always exceeded the time allotted to them.


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