Gallery: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games opening ceremony
A pick of the best images from the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have officially started with the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. While there were no fans in the stands due to the Covid-19 state of emergency in Tokyo, there were around 1,000 VIPs and delegates, including Japan’s Emperor Naruhito.
As per Olympic tradition Greece were the first nation to walk out - and the athletes' parade was accompanied by an “orchestral medley of assorted Japanese video game themes”, The Guardian reports. Team GB, who were led out by flag bearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi, only had 22 athletes of the 375-strong squad at the ceremony.
There was “such a different feel to the parade”, said the BBC’s athletics commentator Andrew Cotter, but then again, “the athletes are socially distanced and usually they would hear the roar of the stadium as they came in”.
Japanese performers brought colour to the opening ceremony, but outside the stadium there was a “small but loud” protest, AP’s Philip Crowther said on Twitter.
“At any lull in the ceremony action - the bits between segments where the crowd would usually whoop and cheer - the sound of the few protesters outside is clearly audible,” said The Telegraph’s Ben Bloom. “There aren’t that many of them, but it makes for a strange backdrop to what is already such a strange show. The lack of audience reaction makes it feel like we are watching a dress rehearsal.”