And while there was a sombre nod to the pandemic - with an athlete understanding on a treadmill within the middle of the National Stadium - it had been an otherwise colourful affair.The Tokyo skyline was illuminated by fireworks after the Olympic flame was delivered to the japanese capital.
Fanfare, famous faces, theatre and even kabuki dance - the spectacle would have unfolded ahead of a packed, 68,000-strong crowd.At one stage, nearly 2,000 DRONES soared to the sky to make a glittering globe - with many quick to call it 'the enduring image of those Games' already.
Instead of the standard loud, crowded event, the festival had a somewhat more intimate feel, with just a couple of VIPs invited to observe .And it had been an equivalent story for the competitors, with a limited number of athletes allowed inside the stadium.Just 22 of Team GB's 375-strong squad were allowed to parade round the stadium, with sailor Hannah Mills and rower Moe Sbihi the flagbearers.
Among the showstoppers was Tongan cult icon Pita Taufatofua.The athlete is now competing at his third-straight Games - participating in both summer and winter events.And Taufatofua arrived proudly showing off his trademark oiled chest.But he was given a run his money this year by Vanuatu's rowing sensation Rio Rii - whose pecs also glistened under the moonlight and fireworks.
Meanwhile, IOC boss Thomas Bach claimed the troubled Olympics would shine a 'light at the top of this dark tunnel' for the remainder of the planet - with 11,000 athletes converging from round the world to compete.Bach claimed: “Today, the Olympic athletes are sending a powerful message of hope to our fragile world.“The Opening Ceremony will highlight this Olympic message of resilience, solidarity and unity of all humankind in overcoming the pandemic.
“The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are a light-weight at the top of this dark tunnel.“Over the approaching days, the athletes will inspire us all with their athletic excellence.“In doing so, they're going to exemplify truth meaning of 'Higher, Faster, Stronger - Together'.
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