Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony: What we all know, who’s going and who’s not

Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony: What we know, who's going and who's not


Except Tokyo’s Opening Ceremony is mired in controversy after each the director and composer of the present stepped down from their positions.

Director Kentaro Kobayashi was dismissed Thursday following previous feedback that “ridiculed the painful facts of history,” in keeping with Tokyo 2020 organizers. Local media experiences stated he made anti-Semitic feedback in a 1998 comedy act in regards to the Holocaust.

Kobayashi later apologized for his feedback in an announcement.

“Indeed, as pointed out, in the video software that was released in 1998 to introduce young comedians, a skit script I wrote contained an extremely inappropriate expression,” the comic added.

“I understand that my foolish choice of words at the time was a mistake, and I regret it,” Kobayashi stated, including that he was grateful he was capable of be concerned within the ceremony.

Earlier this week, the composer for each the opening and shutting ceremonies for the 2020 Olympics. — Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada — introduced his intention to step down after previous interviews of bullying conduct resurfaced.

Oyamada — who can be identified by the stage moniker Cornelius — has confronted a social media backlash after feedback made within the 1990s with Japanese journal Rockin’On Japan just lately started circulating on-line. In the feedback, he described abusing fellow classmates with obvious disabilities whereas at college.

Putting on a present

In 2012, Academy Award profitable movie director Danny Boyle created an Opening Ceremony which featured David Beckham in a ship, pink double-decker buses and even Queen Elizabeth II leaping out a helicopter with James Bond.

In 2016, Rio’s Opening Ceremony was vivid and vibrant in a celebration of Brazil’s multiculturalism and tradition, with segments devoted to local weather change and conservation.

Now it is time for Tokyo and Japan to placed on a present for the watching world.

The Opening Ceremony for this yr’s Summer Games — which had been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic — will happen on July 23 in Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.

Usually held in a stadium stuffed with ecstatic followers, this yr’s ceremony can have athletes from throughout the globe parading in a close to empty venue after it was introduced that followers wouldn’t be allowed to attend due to rising Covid-19 circumstances in Japan.

The Olympic cauldron is lit during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

“The most difficult part of the process was that the postponement meant a simplification of the ceremonies and the message had to be drastically revised,” stated Takayuki Hioki, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee government producer of ceremonies.

“After nearly five years of planning, we found ourselves suddenly having to rethink everything. This was the biggest challenge,” stated Hioki.

Due to restrictions, solely a choose variety of officers and a few dignitaries shall be current for the Friday’s ceremony.

Tokyo 2020 spokesman Hidemasa Nakamura informed Source that about 950 VIPs will participate within the occasion. The whole will embody round 800 overseas visitors and 150 from Japan, Source affiliate TV Asahi reported.

Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, who will declare the Olympics open on the ceremony, shall be attending with out every other member of the imperial household, in keeping with the Imperial Household Agency.

The company says that the choice was made in step with the plans for different Olympic officers who’re additionally attending unaccompanied by their spouses.

With all of the struggles and difficulties that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confronted to stage the Games within the midst of the continued pandemic, president Thomas Bach believes will probably be a second of “joy and relief.”

“I think It will be a moment of joy and relief when entering the stadium,” Bach stated throughout a press convention.

“A moment of joy in particular for the athletes because I know how much they’re longing for this moment. They can finally be there and can enjoy this moment under very special circumstances. And a feeling of relief because the road to this Opening Ceremony was not the easiest one.”

However as Covid-19 circumstances proceed to rise in Tokyo, there shall be notable absentees on Friday. Japanese automobile manufacture Toyota has confirmed its CEO, Akio Toyoda, is not going to be attending the opening ceremony.

“The motto of the Tokyo 2020 Games is “United by Emotion,” added Hioki.

“We spent a variety of time and vitality struggling and what we got here up with was ‘attaining private finest,’ ‘unity in variety,’ ‘connecting to tomorrow’; in different phrases, the Games imaginative and prescient.

“We have created something with a strong message that will resonate with the audience. It’s more about the emotional connection than the excitement.

“We took the athletes very significantly. We had to verify the athletes who lastly have come from overseas do not feel anxious, and but we would like them to be energised and prepared for competitors.”

Marco Balich, a former opening ceremonies executive producer and now a senior advisor to the Tokyo ceremony, told Reuters that Friday’s event will be a “sobering” ceremony.

“Nevertheless with stunning Japanese aesthetics. Very Japanese but additionally in sync with the sentiment of at the moment, the truth,” said Balich, who was in charge of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Tokyo2020 Twitter account on Wednesday tweeted a sneak peak of what to expect at Friday’s event, teasing a 30-second clip of an orchestra playing music, a drone, and choreographed dancing.

Toyoda runs with the Olympic torch during the Tokyo Olympic Games Torch Relay.

Carrying the flag

Bearing your country’s flag as you and your fellow athletes make their way into a stadium for an opening ceremony is one of the greatest honors bestowed on any Olympian.

For Team USA, four-time Olympic basketball gold medalist Sue Bird and baseball player Eddy Alvarez have been given that honor after they were named as their country’s flag bearers for the opening ceremony, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced Wednesday.

“It’s an unbelievable honor to be chosen the flag bearer for Team USA,” said Bird in a statement. “I do know what meaning as a result of I obtained to witness Dawn Staley undergo it when she was chosen in 2004.

“It’s an honor that is bigger than the moment in that you’ve been selected by your fellow Team USA athletes to represent the entire delegation, and it will last forever.”

Bird and Alvarez had been voted as flag bearers by Team USA athletes. The opening ceremony on Friday will mark the primary time the US delegation can have two flag-bearers.

A split of Bird and Alvarez.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be named as one of the flag bearers by my fellow Team USA athletes for the Opening Ceremony,” stated Alvarez.

“Being a first-generation Cuban-American, my story represents the American Dream. My family has sacrificed so much for me to have the opportunity to wave this flag proudly.

“I’m grateful for my time with US Speedskating and USA Baseball, in addition to for all of my teammates, and I’m humbled to steer Team USA into the Tokyo Olympic Games.”

For Team GB, Olympic champions Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi have been chosen because the workforce’s flagbearers for Friday’s opening ceremony.

Sailor Mills and rower Sbihi will each be defending their Olympic titles they received 4 years in the past in Rio.

Junko Ogura, Chie Kobayashi, Gawon Bae, Chandler Thornton contributed to this report.

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