Tokyo 2020: Opening Ceremony: gallery

It had kabuki, treadmills, drones, masks and Naomi Osaka. The Games are on.

After a 12 month delay, and enormous trepidation, Tokyo 2020 officially lit up the Olympic Stadium last night amid a State of Emergency.

It was a largely cultural event but one without crowds, save for VIP invitees.

Masks were mandatory for everyone in stadium and social-distancing was pervasive, if not always universal.

The 4 hour event included kabuki, treadmills, paper doves, tap dancing, wooden rings, piano playing, pictograms, and acknowledgment of Japan’s frontline workers.

A moment with drones above the stadium recreating the 2020 symbol and a world map was a magical highlight.

Tennis champion Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron as the climax of the evening.

Social media however did react to commercials and questioned if Seven’s broadcast was Live to air. Some tweets indicated vision was visible elsewhere before on Seven. However ads seemed to reduce as the broadcast went on, particularly 110 mins uninterrupted during the Parade of Nations.

The Games continue on Seven until August 8.


23 Responses

  1. I enjoyed it, especially the amazing drones showing the flying world globe, and the guy who posed in all the pictograms of the different events. I also loved the nerdy guy pressing all the buttons and seeing lights go on across the city – very entertaining. Let’s face it, it was 100x better than the Gold Coast’s Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

  2. I can only imagine the sheer hand wringing that went on after a virtually flawless show with so many moving parts was capped off with the crowning moment of Osaka lighting the cauldron, during which a crew member quite clearly and deliberately walks out into shot and squats at the bottom of the staircase. They go to such lengths to hide the mechanics that go on behind the scenes. It would have been devastating.

  3. That was the most boring, dark, maudlin and dreary Olympic Games Opening Ceremony ever.
    Really, really sad and awful. Didn’t show anything positive, just more doom and gloom. Totally unimaginative.
    As a friend said: “that was five hours of my life I can’t get back”. Agree.
    More like a prelude to The Hunger Games than celebrating the life and spirit of the youth of the world.
    No soul. No energy. No life. No love. And, especially, no fun.
    And it showed, with had less than 20% of the audience the Sydney Games Opening enjoyed.

    1. A few thoughts…. While it took an arty approach I’d strongly suggest there were other ideas planned but COVID saw them dropped. It also would have been slammed for not acknowledging that the world and athletes have been through. The drones were a highlight. It also makes no sense to compare with Sydney when ratings had a different methodology. Of course the home event rated higher.

      1. Update: US Ratings: This was the lowest rating Olympic Opening Ceremony in 33 years. Just 16.7 million Americans tuned into NBC’s coverage. This represented a 37% decline since Rio 2016 ( 26.5m) and a 59% decline since London 2012 (40.7m). Home Games, or not, the Tokyo Opening was an absolute dud – both for its boring content and with viewing audiences.

        1. Per CNN: “According to early numbers, only 17 million people watched the opening ceremony on TV in the US. That’s down a sharp 36% from the Rio 2016 ceremony.

          But dig a little deeper, and viewership wasn’t actually down as much as you’d think — underscoring that TV numbers no longer tell the whole story. For example, the number of people streaming the Tokyo opening ceremony via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app soared 72% compared to Rio.

          While the network didn’t break out specific metrics for Peacock, NBC did say the service notched its “most-consumed Saturday ever.””

    2. If they went for a Sydney style extravaganza that you seem to be advocating, it would have been completely out of touch and inappropriate. Over 4 million people have died, people’s lives and livelihoods fundamentally altered, the first time ever an Olympic Games has been postponed and now held under a State of Emergency… Good on Japan for not making it all about themselves and reflecting on the past year. They also acknowledged the 10 year anniversary of their earthquake/tsunami disaster.

      Pictograms/drone perfection/children choir with Imagine/origami doves – there were plenty of creative/uplifting segments.

      1. Yes I get your point but some parts of the event were dull and very drawn out like the concluding speeches, I also felt this opening ceremony had a perfunctory feel about it rather than being a celebration of Olympic sports which considering that the IOC and Japanese organisers had decided to proceed with the 2020 Olympic Games should have conveyed a sense of excitement of whats to come and what to look forward to in the future, instead there was a lot of mixed socio-political messaging, which probably fell flat with people looking for some escapist excitement.

  4. Last night i watched the OC on Fetch & they didnt see a Live & Free Watermark on my screen. This simply confuses me whether it’s live or not. And to make matters worse, they threw in a lot of ads. I heard presenters talk about countries and make things up. For example Hamish saying ‘Cook Islands could fit into Rod Laver Arena’. Cook Islands has got nothing to do with Aussie Stadiums.

  5. So 7 have no Japanese person on there payroll at there network so they had to recruit from sbs. But Kumi was good on the coverage and it was nice to get explanations from her.

    In the beginning it felt a little like a wake but I get why they they went there and found it got more enjoyable as it went on.

    The drone was a great sight, I liked when they went through the 50 sports and the Imagine song was beautifully done. I liked the lighting of the cauldron and Naomi was a fitting choice.

    Now the fun starts watching everything.

  6. I found the commentary less intrusive and annoying than past years and the section explanations were helpful and short. It would be interesting to know how different the ceremony was to how they would have planned for a non-COVID one.
    As for the ads, that’s why I recorded so I could FF though them and speed up the athletes entrance. I thought they were generally well placed between segments though.
    Good to see the Tongan flag bearer remembered to pack his oil again this year!

  7. 7 ended up with like a 2-3min delay. I think it’s because they didn’t miss anything when they went to ads. I saw on social media that other countries missed some parts because they went to ads

  8. It was delayed by at least 3-4 mins. I was streaming “live” on another overseas broadcaster which itself would have a delay and 7 was at least 3 mins behind it. I suppose that’s pretty close to live.

  9. I didn’t enjoy it as much as previous opening ceremonies. Found it quite boring in parts. And the countries marching in were all over the place. Would have been nice if it had been explained they were in the Japanese alphabetical order.

  10. It was absolutely not live. Ugh… Channel 7 amiright? And having the always painful Hamish McLachlan commenting in his typically sensationalised way was just so distracting…
    Overall I wouldn’t say it was awful… but it was very… meh. The parade of Nations always sucks the momentum out of the opening ceremony, I get its essential and traditional, it just goes on for far too long.

    1. What makes you say it wasn’t Live ,I know there was quite a delay on the streaming part of it easily a minute ,though I have heard a few say that it wasn’t ,I think 7 have woeful commentators.

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