The biggest sporting spectacle in the world is BACK – despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The opening ceremony begins around noon today, with coverage starting at 11:20 a.m. BST on BBC One from the Olympic Stadium in Shinjuku City, Tokyo.
More than 11,300 athletes from the 207 will go for gold over the next two weeks.
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.
Already eight athletes have come out after testing positive.
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…
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 (1 a.m.)
- Ping-pong (1h)
- Mixed archery teams (1h30)
- Weightlifting (1h50)
- Basket 3 × 3 (2h in the morning)
- Men’s gymnastics (2h)
- Soft bales (2h)
- Fencing (2h)
- Handball (2h)
- Taekwondo (2h)
- Volley-ball (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” risks 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.
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 CHOSES 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!
The sky was illuminated with drones, reproducing the earth! Wow ……
The 206 countries are spread over the Tokyo stadium!
Japan is the last of 206 countries to make their way into the empty Olympic stadium!
Paris will host the 2024 Olympics, so they walk penultimate in Tokyo – just ahead of Japan!
THIS IS THE UNITED STATES TEAM
Meet the United States team! 600 athletes hope to compete and win gold medals.
The United States team won 121 medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
American women’s basketball star Sue Bird and USA Baseball infielder Eddy Alvarez carry the flag high and proud.
And they get a standing ovation from Jill Biden!
One of the well-known names of the GB team …… Tom Daley is looking for his first Olympic gold medal!
The 27-year-old from Devon made his Olympic debut at the age of 14 at the 2008 Beijing Games.