Live from the Olympics opening ceremony: Latest news, updates from the scene in Tokyo

Written by on July 23, 2021

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Present Caption

  • The Tokyo Olympics formally start Friday with the opening ceremony in Japan.
  • U.S. flag-bearers are Sue Chook (ladies’s basketball) and Eddy Alvarez (baseball).
  • Roughly 200 members of U.S. delegation anticipated to march.

TOKYO — The Olympics are formally right here. 

The Tokyo 2020 Summer season Video games begin with the opening ceremony, which can air stay within the U.S. on Friday (7 a.m. ET, NBC), someday shy of when it was initially scheduled to happen in 2020.  

About 950 spectators, largely dignitaries — equivalent to first girl Jill Biden — and journalists, will probably be at Olympic Stadium for the subdued festivities. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee stated greater than 200 athletes, led by flag-bearers Sue Chook (ladies’s basketball) and Eddy Alvarez (baseball) are anticipated to march in the course of the ceremony.

Observe alongside for stay updates of the Tokyo Olympics. 

CHECK OUT OUR GRAPHIC NOVEL: “Why Simone Biles is The GOAT” 

INSIDE THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE: What’s life like for Olympians in Tokyo? 

Honoring Japan’s tradition and custom (historical carpentry), a efficiency symbolizing the “development of the Video games” was highlighted by the development of the wood Olympic rings. The venues and the Olympic Village on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Video games have been constructed utilizing lumber from thinned timber taken from throughout Japan, to showcase the Japan’s lumber tradition.

A hoop of fireworks adopted. 

As soon as Emperor Naruhito and Worldwide Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach took their locations on the official stand, the flag was carried by a mixture of 4 athletes, an individual with an impairment and a healthcare skilled. A prayerful rendition of the Japanese nationwide anthem, carried out by Misia adopted. 

In the midst of the venue is a small duplicate of Mt. Fuji, a landmark of the nation. 

Opening ceremony begins on NBC

A “primordial motif” centered the opening of the ceremony. A countdown video depicted athletes overcoming obstacles to achieve the Olympic Stadium, particularly over the past year-and-a-half in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

Then, a scene of exemplifying the “aside however not alone” nature of the Video games performed, highlighting the “gentle inside athletes.” 

Greetings from the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo!

The beginning of the opening ceremony for the Summer season Olympics is now simply an hour away, and whereas the solar is simply beginning to rise on the East Coast, it is already set right here in Tokyo.

The athlete delegations within the conventional “Parade of Nations” are additionally anticipated to be noticeably smaller, resulting from COVID-19, as many athletes nonetheless have but to reach. Organizers have requested that athletes arrive no sooner than 5 days earlier than their first day of competitors, largely to keep away from overcrowding within the Olympic Village.

— Tom Schad, USA TODAY 

The choice to carry the Video games amid a pandemic, with coronavirus circumstances reaching their highest totals since January, has been unpopular among the many Japanese populace.

In accordance with the Washington Put up, protesters shut down one of many busiest roads in Tokyo on their technique to the neighborhood of the opening ceremony Tokyo.

USOPC chief medical officer Jonathan Finnoff stated Friday right here in Tokyo that roughly 83 p.c of the U.S. delegation, which formally consists of 613 athletes, has been vaccinated (about 600 have responded to medical info requests).

Which means about 100 athletes haven’t but obtained a COVID-19 vaccine.

Our Christine Brennan writes: “By not getting vaccinated, they’ve proven themselves to be horrible teammates, probably endangering their fellow athletes as a result of they’re at better threat of contracting COVID-19 and probably knocking themselves and others out of their occasions by contact tracing protocols.”

U.S. flag-bearers Sue Chook, Eddy Alvarez 

Chook had a number of shut pals to go to after she was chosen as one of many U.S. flag bearers for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Video games.

Longtime Seattle Storm teammate Lauren Jackson, who had carried the flag for her native Australia within the 2012, texted to say congratulations.

U.S. ladies’s coach Daybreak Staley carried the flag within the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the final time a basketball participant had the dignity.

“Daybreak simply gave me one of the best recommendation attainable,” Chook stated Friday. “She stated, ‘Pay attention, the flag’s not that heavy. You’re going to be advantageous.’ ”

She’ll be joined by Alvarez, a speedskating silver medalist within the Winter Olympics, because the U.S. flag bearers. Hours earlier than the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Video games right here, Chook appeared ahead to the ceremony with pleasure.

With coronavirus countermeasures in place, the ceremony will go off with out followers and with just a few hundred VIPs. Even inside hours of the occasion, Chook didn’t know the place athletes could be held or what they might see of different international locations’ procession.

“I hope Daybreak didn’t mislead me,” she stated, “and I hope the flag is gentle.”

Learn extra in regards to the number of Chook and Alvarez. 

— Rachel Axon, USA TODAY

Jesse Smith, a five-time Olympian for the U.S. males’s water polo crew, missed the reduce to stroll within the opening ceremony due to COVID-related restrictions.

The water polo crew was allotted 12 spots for its 13-player roster, leaving Smith to observe the festivities from the Olympic Village as a result of he was not one of many 12 lively gamers declared for the crew’s opening sport Sunday in opposition to Japan.

 Oddly sufficient, Smith, 38, had been nominated to be the U.S. males’s flag bearer earlier than shedding out to baseball participant Eddy Alvarez.

“Issues took a swift flip upon arrival in Tokyo after I discovered I might not be capable of stroll in opening ceremonies in any respect,’’ Smith wrote on Twitter.

Later, he addressed the matter at a crew press convention hours earlier than the Ceremony was set to start.

— Josh Peter, USA TODAY 

Which U.S. athletes will march? 

The USOPC supplied the tough variety of 200, although it is unclear who will probably be there and what the precise variety of contributors will finally be.

The lads’s and girls’s basketball groups are anticipated to march. The gymnasts and most (if not all) of the U.S. swimming crew is anticipated to go. Do not rely on seeing any observe and subject athletes readily available, both; The overwhelming majority of them is not going to arrive in Tokyo till later this weekend, or early subsequent week. 

— Schad 


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