VIDEO: Pandemic-era Olympics starts with socially-distanced opening ceremony - GulfToday

VIDEO: Pandemic-era Olympics starts with socially-distanced opening ceremony


Fireworks light up the sky over the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Following a one-year delay due to a coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics began on Friday with the opening ceremony held amidst a nearly empty National Stadium.

With strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place, only about 900 dignitaries and other officials were in the stands of the 68,000-seat venue, including International Olympic

Committee President Thomas Bach, French President Emmanuel Macron, US First Lady Jill Biden, and Japan's Emperor Naruhito, who declared the Games open.

John Legend and Keith Urban performed as dazzling fireworks, drones and musical performances set the ball rolling for the pandemic-era Games.

The Games have faced opposition in the country over the fears that a global gathering of 11,000 athletes could lead to a surge in coronavirus cases. Despite tight security arrangements in place, hundreds of protesters holding the banners displaying ‘Lives over Olympics’ protested around the National Stadium.

They were demanding the authorities to stop the Olympics. For the first time in the history of Olympics, the overseas fans are banned from attending the Games.

The Israeli Olympic team members, who were killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics, were also remembered during the opening ceremony.

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