The beginning of the 2020 edition of the quadrennial event was very different for a number of reasons.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have finally started after controversies, postponements and doubts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The opening ceremony on Friday declared the Summer Olympics at Tokyo open. The Games will continue between July 23- 8 August, 2021. 

Around 11,000 athletes from 206 countries in 33 sports are participating in the Tokyo Olympics. A record number of Indian athletes have qualified for the Games. As many as 121 Indian athletes are representing the country in numerous sporting events.

Venue

The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics was held at the Japan National Stadium. The demolition of the old stadium was completed in May 2015. After that, construction of the new stadium began at the site in December 2016.

The stadium’s inaugural sporting event was the 2019 Emperor’s Cup final. It took place on January 1, 2020. Vissel Kobe beat Kashima Antlers 2-0 in that match, to clinch the club’s first-ever trophy.

The Japan National Stadium has a capacity of 68,089. Renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma designed the stadium. It will be the venue of the athletics events for the Tokyo Olympics.

Watch: The Indian contingent parades at the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

Performers

The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics was unlike any other previous edition. The ceremony began with an exhibition flight by Blue Impulse, the aerobatics squadron of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The squadron draws the Olympic Rings over the Tokyo sky.

Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh and six-time world champion Mary Kom were the Indian flagbearers in the parade.

Theme & Mascot

“United by Emotion” is the official Tokyo 2020 motto. It emphasises the power of sport to bring together people from diverse backgrounds. It also stresses the fact to connect and celebrate in a way that reaches beyond differences.

Here are some of the best pictures from the opening ceremony

Manpreet Singh and Mary Kom lead the Indian contingent (photo credit- Olympics)
All eyes will be on the Indian athletes (photo credit-Olympics)
Aerobatic demonstration by the Air Force (photo credit-Olympics)
Exciting fireworks at the stadium (photo credit-Olympics)
Athletes will give their everything to win a medal at the Olympics (photo credit-Olympics)
Performers light up the stadium (photo credit-Olympics)
For the second time in its history, the Olympic Games welcome the IOC Refugee Olympic Team (photo credit-Olympics)
Fireworks paint the stadium with beautiful colours (photo credit-Olympics)

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