Ceremony and parade: the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games open
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TOKYO the inaugural ceremony of Tokyo Olympics. The first nation to traditionally parade is Greece, followed by the refugee team. Italy parades 18th, closes Japan. The Italian flag-bearers are Jessica Rossi, the skeet shooting champion, and Elia Viviani (cycling). Volleyball player Paola Egonu was chosen by the IOC, together with five other athletes, as flag bearer of the Olympic banner.
Here is the live video of the ceremony. Here the most beautiful and meaningful images.
14.55 – Forbidden hugs and kisses, gaudy uniforms (except Germany, which has chosen an unwatchable green)
Facial recognition of athletes under the masks is not easy. So let’s focus on the clothes. The bright colors of Africa (the very elegant Angola, Kenya in fuchsia, Zambia in emerald green, the bright suits of Congo), the traditional clothes of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, the straw hats of the Cook Islands, sandals from the Seychelles, turbans from Oman, Suriname with feather headdresses and New Zealand with fur cloaks, El Salvador with floral breeches, women in red with Roc waistbands, neutral Russians because of the doping scandal, armed with Olympic flags, celebrating despite everything. Indelible memories at the entrance to Tonga that four years ago, in Rio 2016, gave us a dream with the standard-bearer Pita Taufatofua, who showed up at the Maracan in a skirt and shirtless, covered in oil like a sardine ready to bread. The standard bearer is always Pita, who replicates the total nude look (with oil). The IOC had recommended sobriet even in the parade (hugs and kisses are forbidden), and so it was. The shortcoming in the uniform goes to Germany, in indefinable green-like and fluorescent yellow shoes. Can you tell? Unwatchable. (by Gaia Piccardi)
2.15 pm – Italians and Argentines, joy and laughter
In the interminable parade of athletes, which every four years counts as a review of geography, the cheerfulness and contagious laughter of Argentines and Italians are worth a little lesson, partying despite everything, to continue living. It was also thought not to do this ceremony. Until the end, the IOC discussed it. But it would have been the official stamp on the state of clandestinity of this Olympics, already forced into surreal contortions such as the one that requires athletes to wear medals themselves (of Marco Imarisio).
13.55 – Italy enters and the (empty) stadium warms up
Between Israel and Iraq, here we are. Italy enters and the empty Olympic stadium warms up with enchantment: there are many of us, dressed in white in honor of the host country, with the colors of Japan on the chest. We wave tricolor flags, hardly anyone filters the emotions through the lens of the mobile phone. All present, joyful, beautiful, s beautiful. The two standard-bearers, the shooter Jessica Rossi and the cyclist Elia Viviani, have laughing eyes. In the world that no longer exists, before the pandemic, the parade of athletes at the opening ceremony of the Olympics was the most phantasmagoric party in the world, the most beautiful spectacle after the weekend. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. But our happiness, from Italy with love, reminded us where we came from (di Gaia Piccardi).
13.44 – The best thing: the emotions and the tears of the athletes
The athletes arrive, and their excited looks, including a few tears, are for the best. Greece, National Refugee, Algeria, in Japanese alphabetical order. Despite everything, they have come to the appointment that will define their sporting lives. They deserved much more than an empty stadium and masks that make identification difficult. But in the meantime, I’m here, at the strangest and most difficult Olympics in history. So is life, so is ours (of Marco Imarisio).
13.35 – There is no enthusiasm, but the choreography is very beautiful
The choreography with the five circles and the ballet are very beautiful and come at the last minute to save us from depression. What is missing is the connecting element between one scene and another: the public, the enthusiasm. And so, more than an Olympic ceremony, it feels like attending a fashion show, with a few delicate applause at the end of each issue (of Marco Imarisio).
13.26 – The Emperor’s entrance (with mask)
Surreal first moment. After a slow start, Emperor Naruhito and the president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, who strongly wanted these Games in Japan, enter the stadium. They walk towards each other, disguised. Distant bow. Then, with a conditioned reflex from the old empire and the world before the pandemic, they turn and say hello. The void (of Gaia Piccardi).
13:23 – Sober or mixed race?
Mah Okay, the evocation of what was. The loneliness of the athlete in lockdown who trains on the treadmill. Agree the sobriety necessary for the times we are living in. But here it borders on sadness, with a nice soundtrack. Nobody asked for the Spice Girls and Queen Elizabeth lookalike jumping off the helicopter with the real James Bond like in London 2012. By, damn. Meanwhile, the cries of protest against Tokyo 2020 come from the outside, increasingly louder, mingling with the notes of the shocked-looking dancer. What joy (of Marco Imarisio).
13.12 – Piazza Duomo in the video commemorating the year of the pandemic
In the video that recalls the worst year of our life, one of the first images is that of the deserted Piazza del Duomo. We should always remember what 2020 was, those terrible months of March and April. For Lombardy and for all of Italy. In Tokyo they did it. And a bit ‘we got the chills (of Marco Imarisio).
Ore 13.03 – Rooms with views of the Olympics that no one in Japan wanted anymore
Attached to the Olympic stadium, as close as only in Tokyo things manage to be close without colliding with each other, there is an apartment building. Apartments as large as cans of sardines, windows overlooking the opening ceremony that is about to begin. There are those who are having dinner, those who watch television, those who play with their children, those who hang out the laundry. Rooms with views of the Olympics that no one in Japan wanted anymore. From the box at the top right, however, a woman reaches out to us: says hello. Maybe the Japanese hostile to potential foreigners told us some anti-Olympic propaganda, maybe they don’t want us so badly. I reciprocate the greeting (of Gaia Piccardi).
Ore 13.03 – All ready for the start of the ceremony
All ready for the start of the ceremony. The neutral stadium, in the sense that there is no sign that is one of the sponsors. After Toyota’s great refusal to attend, even Panasonic has made it known that he will not be there, while Chipotle has made it known that despite the situation “not ideal”, he will consider doing Olympic commercials. In the Cesarini area, the Brazilian delegation has in the meantime made it known that it will parade only with four athletes, for fear of Covid which today recorded another record peak, equaling the number of daily infections touched last January 16. There is enthusiasm around these Games. But now the lights go out. One way or another, one begins (of Marco Imarisio).
12.53 – The (orderly) protest outside the stadium
A few hundred protesters protest against the Tokyo Olympics outside the stadium. Since they are Japanese, they do it in an orderly way, without invading the street. They are all stuck on a sidewalk where there is not even room for a pin. It looks like the old-time queue for tickets at the stadium, only there is a lady shouting phrases into the megaphone that everyone picks up and repeats in chorus. The Japanese colleagues explain that they are basically giving spreaders to members of their government and foreign visitors. Some have shirts with bloody syringes or five Covid symbols instead of five circles. Their voices arrive muffled inside the stadium. To see them from above, piled on top of each other, at thirty-five degrees of temperature, in short, one can hope that everything will be fine for them (of Marco Imarisio).
12.42 – The arrival of the heads of Stato and athletes
Small, suggestive, collected. It’s empty. Here we are inside the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium, rebuilt (the original facility used for the ’64 Games, is part of that package of “heritage” sites recovered by the Japanese 57 years later) to host the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. On these seats in the stadium in the heart of Shinjuku we should have sat a year ago if the pandemic hadn’t got in the way. The heads of state are arriving, the wigs of the International Olympic Committee, the athletes who will parade. For now, twenty minutes from the inauguration of the most tiring, thwarted and viral Olympics in history, only insiders and a white cone at the center of the scene, which depicts the sacred Mount Fuji (of Gaia Piccardi).
Il Corriere has created a special with athletes and athletes, calendar, medals, stories and results in real time: watch the special Olympics
July 23, 2021 (change July 23, 2021 | 14:59)