Home / Sport / Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony takes place in front of zero fans with Team GB bearing flags as protests occur outside Japan National Stadium

Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony takes place in front of zero fans with Team GB bearing flags as protests occur outside Japan National Stadium

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics officially began on Friday with its opening ceremony.

Participating nations, including Team GB where Hannah Mills and rower Mohamed Sbihi were the flagbearers waved to a near-empty Japan National Stadium, which can hold up to 68,000 spectators.

Team GB waved its flag high and proud at the opening ceremony
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The typical firework display took place to mark the start of the Olympics in Tokyo
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However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, which delayed the Games by a year, only 950 VIPS and world leaders were in attendance.

The opening ceremony was traditionally marked by a host of performers with projection technology adding bright colours around the stadium.

And, of course, a huge firework display added to the sense of occasion, while organisers chose not to use enhanced crowd noises inside the arena.

There was a moment of silence to pay tribute to the victims of COVID-19 as dancers representing Japanese woodworkers performed on stage.

Performers took to the stage to mark the spectacle
AFP

Afterwards, a host of nations and athletes entered while bearing flags.

The opening ceremony had been marred by one of its directors, Kantaro Kobayashi, resigning on Thursday after video footage emerged of him mocking the Holocaust.

Despite postponing the Games for a year, cases are currently rising in Japan with fears the Olympics will lead to more infections.

Plenty of other nations took to the Olympic stage
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The on-stage performers were, unsurprisingly, brilliant
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On Friday, Tokyo reported 1,358 coronavirus cases, its highest daily amount since January.

During the opening ceremony, protests to stop the Games amid the pandemic occurred outside the stadium with someone shouting, ‘stop the Olympics now’ through a megaphone.

A section of Japanese residents want the Olympics stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic
AFP

There have even been reports claiming Olympians have been unable to have their daily COVID tests due to lack of available kits at the Tokyo Athletes’ Village.

Japanese outlet NHK reported the country’s men’s gymnastics team, along with other overseas competitors, had no PCR tests to take.

So far, at least 13 athletes have tested positive for coronavirus in Japan.

Although Friday marked the opening ceremony, a number of events have taken place already.

Team GB women’s football team have already got their campaign off to an impressive start.

Hege Riise’s side beat Chile 2-0 thanks to Ellen White’s double on Wednesday with Team GB topping Group E following Canada’s 1-1 draw with Japan.

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