THE Olympics have officially BEGUN after a spectacular opening ceremony in Tokyo.
Japan is determined to bounce back despite the Covid pandemic ravaging the country at an alarming rate.
Over 1,800 drones flew in unison forming a globe before Team GB and all Olympic teams exited the main stadium.
More than 11,300 out of 207 athletes will go for gold over the next two weeks with the first gold medal being awarded on Saturday.
But this time around, they have the added problem of additional restrictions like face masks, saliva tests – and cardboard beds designed to discourage them from having sex.
Organizers are moving forward with the Games despite huge local protests as cases increase in Japan.
There will be a record 339 medal-winning events in 33 sports and 34 new events such as skateboarding and rock climbing.
There will be a limited number of spectators in the stadiums and the usual atmosphere will be diluted, but the glitz and glamor will remain.
So sit back, buckle up and get ready for today’s extravagance, like the Tokyo Olympics ULTIMATELY get started.
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Stay up to date with all updates from Tokyo in our live blog …
TAE IN THE SKY
Taekwondo ace Jade Jones will be in action on day one of the Olympics.
But will she become the first British woman to win three consecutive gold medals in successive Games?
British athletics star Dina Asher-Smith believes the Olympians should be allowed to kneel down if they so choose.
She said: “If you were to penalize someone for speaking out against racial inequality, how would it be, how the hell are you going to enforce that?
“Would you revoke someone’s medal for saying racism is bad?”
“How would you control that, especially when people are so sensitive to it right now? How would it be optically?
“I consider it totally inapplicable.”
ROTTEN TO THE MOËLLE
Badminton kicks off the Olympic Games at 1 a.m.
But what do you know about sport?
IN THE WINGS
The young stars of Tokyo 2020 are giving fans exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the Olympic Village – via TikTok.
UK team hopefuls Tom Daley and Jazmin Sawyers are just two of the athletes using the popular video platform to detail their exploits in Japan.
These include daily coronavirus tests and tests on the “sturdy beds” as they become more familiar with the accommodation of the athletes.
DISCOVER THE LIFE OF THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE HERE
A tropical storm is heading towards Japan and threatens to delay some events as the Olympics begin.
According to AccuWeather, Storm Nepartak is heading towards mainland Japan with winds of 40 mph.
A tropical depression first formed north of Guam, before turning into a storm on Friday (local time).
AccuWeather meteorologist Jake Sojda said: “While it is still too early to have much confidence in the exact trajectory and intensity of this system, there are early indications that it could threaten Tokyo. later Monday or Tuesday local time. “
A judo athlete ready to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has left the Games after being drawn against an Israeli opponent.
Fethi Nourine of Algeria was due to face Israeli Tohar Butbul in the second round, if he had won his first match.
But he retired before facing Sudanese Mohamed Abdalarasool in the 73 kg competition, the second of his career.
Nourine is quoted by Sky News as having told Algerian media: “We have worked a lot to reach the Olympic Games. The news was a shock, a thunder.
He added that his “decision was final” because of his political support for Palestine, the partially recognized state engaged in a long conflict with Israel.
Chelsea star Fran Kirby has been ruled out of Team GB’s group clash against Japan – but SHOULD return for the final clash with Canada.
Women’s Footballer of the Year Kirby missed out on the first victory over Chile with a blow received during pre-tournament training at Loughborough.
Coach Hege Riise, ready to make changes on the left side with Demi Stokes replacing Rachel Daly at the back and Nikita Parris replacing Lauren Hemp, said: “Fran is back in training, slowly but we have to be sure not to push it.
“We don’t want to risk it when there are so many games to go.”
SATURDAY EVENING IS GOOD
Here are some things to watch out for overnight at the Olympics.
Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas is in action in the men’s road race – and don’t worry if you miss the start at 3 a.m., the race won’t warm up until at least 6 a.m.
Meanwhile, the men’s GB team take to the hockey field to try to match the women’s gold medal triumph five years ago.
Here’s a full list of what’s on:
- Badminton (1 a.m.)
- Beach volleyball (1h)
- Ping-pong (1 a.m.)
- Mixed archery teams (1h30)
- Weightlifting (1h50)
- Basketball 3×3 (2 a.m.)
- Men’s gymnastics (2h)
- Softball (2h)
- Fencing (2h)
- Handball (2h)
- Taekwondo (2h)
- Volleyball (2h)
- Boxing (3h)
- Men’s road cycling race (3h)
- Judo (3 a.m.)
- Tennis (3h)
- Water polo (4 a.m.)
- Archery Mixed Team Final (6.15am)
- Women’s football (8:30 am)
- Equestrian dressage (9h)
- Men’s hockey (10:30 am)
- Women’s hockey (11 a.m.)
- Surf (23h)
CAPTURE THE MOMENT
Olympic rower Moe Sbihi captured his memorable moment with a selfie while leading the GB team.
John Lennon’s “Imagine” is in danger of becoming the anthem of the Olympic Games.
He has appeared in several summer and winter games in recent years.
‘ENJOY THE SHOW’
Rebecca Adlington said she was very excited to see Adam Peaty in action.
And the Olympic and world champion has a good chance of becoming the first British gold medalist in Tokyo.
He kicks off his Games in the heats, which start just after midnight.
INSPIRED BY 2012
The men’s Olympic road race offers the GB team a good opportunity to win an early medal.
Geraint Thomas, twins Adam and Simon Yates, as well as Tao Geoghegan Hart are our best chances for glory.
And the latter spoke about what it means to be an Olympic athlete.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
Osaka lighting the torch concludes the ceremony.
It might have been different, but it was certainly hectic. Now we can’t wait for the sport to start.
MORE OF THE TORCH BE LIT
THE PICTOGRAM BRINGS THE GAME TO LIFE
THE TORCH HAS BEEN LIT
Naomi Osaka is the last torchbearer!
She takes a quick jog before climbing to the top of a makeshift pyramid to light the main torch, which opens like a blooming flower.
Three Japanese sport legends walk with the torch inside the stadium.
Two healthcare workers also run with torches in hand, before passing it on to a Japanese Paralympic athlete who won gold at the Summer and Winter Games.
JAZZING THINGS UP
Next, a former Japanese superhero takes the stage following a montage of famous sites in Japan.
Hiromi Uehara then performs a jazz routine on a grand piano, and she packs it punch while our superhero gets ready.
A display of the pictogram for each sport takes place, fair play for the energy and creativity that unfold there.
Showing all 50s in minutes takes a bit of work, but a flawless display of everything from judo to horseback riding goes off without a hitch.
Shiny props to show off “horses” jumping on the move and cycling deserves a gold medal in itself.
PEACE AND UNITY
Paper doves are dropped around the stadium and the athletes catch them as they fall to the ground.
Doves are used as a symbol of unity, but actual birds have not appeared at the Olympics since 1988.
They are traditionally released before the official stadium torch is lit.
‘LET THE GAMES BEGIN’
The GB team thanks Japan for the welcome and is clearly excited to get things started …
OLYMPIC FLAG Raised
Representatives from each continent carry the Olympic flag, made up of athletes and health workers.
They are each dressed in white decorated with the five colors of the flag; green, red, black, yellow and blue.
Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, asks us to cherish this moment, to celebrate the fact that we are all here together.
He said, “Let’s cherish this moment. Finally, we are all here together. It is the unifying power of sport. “
“Without solidarity there is no peace.”
He then proceeds to welcome the refugee team to the Games, before recognizing what they represent for society.
The drones then form a moon, with the athletes illuminated in the center of the stadium.
The globe made up of drones was visible well outside the stadium!