The event will take place at the Japan National Stadium.
After a wait of five years, the Olympics are finally upon us. The opening ceremony of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics 2020 will kick off on July 23 at the newly-built Japan National Stadium.
Tokyo Olympics will see the participation of around 11,000 athletes from 206 countries in 33 sports. A record number of Indian athletes have qualified for the Games. As many as 120 Indian athletes will represent the country in numerous sporting events.
The curtain raiser for the Tokyo Olympics will take place 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.
The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will be unlike any other previous ceremony. The ceremony will begin with an exhibition flight by Blue Impulse, the aerobatics squadron of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The squadron will draw the Olympic Rings over the Tokyo sky.
After that, Emperor Naruhito will make the opening declaration. The Olympic cauldron will be lighted to officially begin the Tokyo Olympics. The ceremony will feature music by Seigen Tokuzawa, Marihiko Hara and Masayuki Kagei.
Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh and six-time world champion Mary Kom will be the Indian contingent’s flagbearers in the parade. In addition, comedy duo HIRO-PON will also make an appearance.
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.
Mascots are an integral part of every Olympic Games. For Tokyo 2020, the official mascot is Miraitowa. The name Miraitowa is based on the Japanese words ‘mirai’, meaning future, and ‘towa’, meaning eternity, representing the wish that the Tokyo Olympics will lead to a future of everlasting hope in the hearts of everyone around the world.
Children from more than 16,000 Japanese elementary schools chose the mascot. Fukuoka-based illustrator Taniguchi Ryo has designed the mascot. The mascot-type robot is part of the Tokyo 2020 Robot project. It has already greeted athletes upon their arrival at the Olympic village. Miraitowa can wave, shake hands and can react when a person is near. It also has a variety of facial expressions.
Who will attend the ceremony?
Leaders from 15 countries will attend the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony. French President Emmanuel Macron, Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene and US first lady Jill Biden will be present. IOC President Thomas Bach, Emperor Naruhito, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will also attend the event. Only six officials from every country will take part in the Olympics opening ceremony. However, there is no cap on athletes.
Meanwhile, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is also expected to be present in the ceremony, issued a statement saying that the event will be a ‘celebration of hope’. “May these Games be the moment that unites the world, and ignites the solidarity and determination we need to end the pandemic together.
“…In the 125-year history of the modern games, they have been held in the shadow of war, economic crisis and geopolitical turmoil. But never before have they been organised in the shadow of a pandemic,” the WHO chief said in a statement. “And although COVID-19 might have postponed the games, it has not defeated them,” he concluded.
The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will begin at 4:30 pm IST on July 23, 2021. It will be available to watch on Sony Sports Network channels in India. Alternatively, the ceremony will also be available to watch via the Sony LIV and Jio TV apps.