Posted: Friday, July 23, 2021. 11:00 am CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Olympic Games started this morning in front of an empty Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. There were only 900 plus invited guests.
While many Japanese citizens oppose the Games being held there because of the pandemic, there were long lines of Japanese citizens waiting to take selfies in front of the Olympics rings near the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
Five Belizeans participated in the Opening Ceremony. The two flag bearers, Samantha Dirks and Shaun Gill, who are competing in Athletics; Amado Cruz, who will be competing in Canoeing; Deon Sutherland who is doubling as President of the Belize Athletics Association and coach; and Head of Mission Herman Pastor Jr.
Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Osaka is competing at the Games.
After the parade of athletes, Japan’s Emperor Naruhito declared the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games open.
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), praised athletes for their perseverance during the pandemic and asked them to keep in solidarity.
“Solidarity fuels our mission to make the world a better place through sport,” Bach said. “Because of this solidarity, we can be here together tonight.”
“We can only become stronger if we stand together,” said Bach explaining that the IOC has adapted the Olympics motto to our times.
“Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together,” Bach said.
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