Naomi Osaka lights cauldron at Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

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ESPN 23 July, 2021 - 10:21am 27 views

How long is the Olympic opening ceremony?

The celebration of the start of the games is expected to last about four hours, running from 7 a.m. ET to 11 a.m. ET. NBC and Olympics organizers have kept other details of the opening ceremony under wraps, including how many members of each nation's delegation will be allowed to march. Sporting NewsOlympics opening ceremony updates, highlights, best moments to start 2021 Tokyo Games

What time will the opening ceremony for Olympics 2021 start?

Time: 6:55 a.m. ET. The event will re-air at 7:30 p.m. cbsnews.com2021 Olympics: Schedule for the opening ceremony and most anticipated events

How long is the Tokyo opening ceremony?

The Tokyo Games finally got underway with a four-hour extravaganza that was both celebratory and subdued, in a stadium filled with empty seats. NBC NewsTokyo Olympics begin with opening ceremony like no other

Who sang imagine at Tokyo Olympics?

Drones form a globe during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics. John Lennon and Yoko Ono's “Imagine” was once again featured at an Olympic ceremony, with John Legend, Keith Urban, Angélique Kidjo and more collaborating on a version to kick off the Tokyo games. Rolling StoneJohn Legend, Keith Urban, Angélique Kidjo Lead ‘Imagine’ Performance at Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

Tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games on Friday, ending the flame's long journey from Greece to these delayed Olympics.

The cauldron sat atop a peak inspired by Mount Fuji. It's a sphere that opened like a flower "to embody vitality and hope," organizers said. A second cauldron has been placed in Tokyo's waterfront area and was to be lit after the opening ceremony.

In the Olympics, the identity of the person getting the honor of lighting the cauldron is always a mystery until the last moment.

Wakako Tsuchida, a Paralympic athlete, took it from them and began rolling it and his wheelchair closer to the stage as athletes and others on the floor for the ceremony rushed forward for a closer look.

A group of six students were next to bring it closer to the stage, and at the foot of the stage with the last torch was Osaka -- the four-time Grand Slam winner who will compete at the Tokyo Games.

She brought it to the center of the stage. A staircase emerged, the cauldron opened and Osaka walked to the top, the Olympic and Japanese flags blowing in the breeze off to her left. She dipped the flame in, the cauldron ignited and fireworks filled the sky.

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Tokyo Olympics Get Off to a Somber, Unnerving, Heavily Branded Start on NBC

Variety 23 July, 2021 - 01:00pm

By Caroline Framke

Japan’s opening performance went out of its way to acknowledge the strange circumstances that led us to this moment, with modern dance depictions of athletes training on their own without much more than determination to guide them through the pandemic. It even paused to ask everyone watching to observe a moment of silence, both for the millions who have died of COVID-19 and the Olympians the world has lost over the years, including those from the Israeli delegation during the 1972 Munich Games. Whether by design or by necessary COVID-19 protocols, the fact that the downsized group of performers and the laser lights following them couldn’t take up enough space in Tokyo’s enormous new stadium only added to the event’s eeriness.

The performance eventually picked up the pace and vibe throughout the night, joyous tap dancing and Hiromi piano cameo and all, but the night ultimately retained a more solemn tone than celebratory. Not even the choral rendition of The Beatles’ “Imagine” — this is, incredibly, 100% true — could quite buoy the ceremony beyond its dire extra-textual circumstances, though the reveal that Haitian-Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka would be the country’s final torchbearer came close.

Once the Parade of Nations started, it seemed like the event should be pretty straightforward from there on out. And yet, NBC went ahead and complicated it beyond logic and belief. As per the network’s tradition, breathless anticipation for the U.S. delegation ruled the day. The coverage sporadically cut to the team approaching the stadium and interviews with American athletes while other countries marched across the screen. Hearing NBC anchors Savannah Guthrie and Mike Tirico try to make smooth transitions to Team USA was typically painful, but it was the integration of onscreen ads during the Parade of Nations that left the worst taste.

When NBC first cut its coverage to a split-screen featuring a muted screen of athletes waving on one side and a blaring Walmart commercial on the other, it was almost too on the nose. During an opening ceremony trying to convey a sense of unanimous strength and spirit across the globe during an especially hard year, NBC’s commercial obligations nevertheless persisted, reminding everyone in the U.S. audience what really matters. Sri Lanka walked by to the tune of a Hershey’s ad; the Philippines, to White Claw Hard Seltzer; Egypt, to Walmart.

NBC undoubtedly sold these spots many months ago, but the network either didn’t realize how it would look, for instance, to score Gambia’s moment with a Chevrolet commercial about white guys fishing — or worse still, NBC didn’t care. Either way, this compromise of splitting the difference made for an unusually stark visual about exactly what the United States values most when it comes to the Olympic Games: the corporations sponsoring its coverage, and the United States.

So, yes, in theory, it would be nice to view these Olympics as a way to unite people around the world in pride and wonder after an extraordinarily hard time. In reality, that hard time hasn’t come close to ending, and at least in Japan as cases continue to spike, the Olympics aren’t exactly helping to change that. At the very least, watching athletes turn to an empty stadium and wave to no one while NBC blared an ad for Peacock felt exactly as dystopian as this moment deserves.

Opening Ceremony Honors Israeli Victims Of Munich Olympic Massacre For 1st Time

HuffPost 23 July, 2021 - 08:03am

The Tokyo Olympicsopening ceremony on Friday honored the Israeli athletes and coaches killed in the 1972 Munich massacre with a moment of silence, the first time victims of the terrorist attack have been memorialized in an opening ceremony.

Families of the 11 who died had previously requested a minute’s silence during the opening ceremony, but were rebuffed by the International Olympic Committee, according to Reuters. The effort for a moment of silence at the 2012 London Olympics was supported by then-President Barack Obama.

Jacques Rogge, the IOC president at the time, said such a tribute would be “inappropriate.”

The Tokyo moment of silence also honored COVID-19 victims.

That silence. You could hear a pin drop. #Olympics pic.twitter.com/jxXrjcnYXV

 Israeli Prime Minister Natfali Bennett expressed general thanks to Japan, the Jerusalem Post noted.

Here’s the Israeli squad entering the stadium in Tokyo:

Terrorists killed two members of Israel’s 1972 Olympic team and kidnapped nine others, demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners. All nine of those athletes and coaches were eventually killed and a West German police officer was shot to death in a failed rescue attempt.

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