2021 Olympics: flame, French show, drones … what to remember from the opening ceremony

The Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games officially began this Friday, after a long opening ceremony interspersed with beautiful moments, including the lighting of the Olympic cauldron by Naomi Osaka.

Japanese culture in the spotlight

If the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, which was held without spectators and only in the presence of officials (including Emmanuel Macron), was not the most prosperous in the recent history of the Olympics, the organizers have nevertheless put Japanese culture at the center of the event. The Japanese flag was given pride of place, as did the art of costumes and the heritage of the 1964 Olympics. Music from video games, from Dragon Quest to Final Fantasy, was also used throughout the game. parade of athletes.

The Last Torch Relay by Naomi Osaka

The suspense is, as always, remained almost complete. It was only when she received the torch in her hands that we discovered the identity of the one who would be in charge of igniting the Olympic cauldron: Naomi Osaka. The choice of the Japanese tenniswoman, adored in her country, born of a Haitian father and claiming her diversity, icon of youth with political positions, is highly symbolic. For the occasion, the champion had red and white braids, in the colors of her country’s standard.

Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic cauldron
Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic cauldron © Icon Sport

French flag bearers put on a show

This year, no less than 206 nations are taking part in the Olympics. With such a total, it is not easy to stand out during the traditional parade of nations within the Olympic Stadium. If Argentina, with its overflowing enthusiasm, or the Tonga of the very oiled Pita Taufatofua, stood out, the French were not left out. Standard bearer with the judokate Clarisse Agbegnenou, the gymnast Samir Aït Saïd gave the assistance a superb back somersault before pushing the blue athletes to sing a pretty Marseillaise.

A spectacular number of drones

The greatest technical feat of this ceremony, more than the many fireworks which enamelled it, was the sublime painting which followed the parade of the athletes. 1,824 luminous drones were raised in the Tokyo sky, above the stadium, to initially form the logo of these 32nd Olympic Games. The structure then evolved to draw planet Earth, with each continent apparent, in the dark night.

The official launch of the Games by the Emperor

It is the Emperor of Japan Naruhito who officially declared open these Olympic Games, in his official speech. His words were preceded by those of the IOC President Thomas Bach and the President of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee Hashimoto Seiko. “The time has come to show the power of sport and what you are capable of, launched the latter. You will inspire people, the whole world is waiting for you. After more than half a century, the Olympic Games are returning to Tokyo. Let us do our best to make future generations proud of these Games. “

Corentin Parbaud Journalist RMC Sport

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