The opening ceremony lacked decibels in the applause, which only sounded from the authorities’ box. Outside, a crowd was still calling for the cancellation of the Games.
The long wait Since the closure of Rio de Janeiro, five years ago, it forced the opening ceremony of the first Games in Japan in this century to be resized. It was an act without soul in the concrete of the stands and with many details that could possibly only be perceived in the stadium.
A privileged job is that of a journalist that allows access to an event that is banned for most mortals. Of course, with extreme security measures and not a few restrictions. In fact, as is customary in olympic appointments, the opening was declared ‘high demand’ (high demand) and not all the accredited informants were able to enter the bowels of the Olympic.
Before arriving, long lines to access the buses that connect the international press center with the lavish Tokyo stadium; on the outskirts of the enclosure, hundreds of Japanese queuing up to be photographed with the Olympic rings and film what they can. They even look for photos with journalists or officials confusing them with athletes, which enter later and through another gate. Others – and that surely the television did not show – protest because they are in favor of the cancellation of the event.
We are greeted by a large canvas with a mosaic of white and gray squares and the countdown ends at 8 o’clock (noon in Spain). Then, the applause of those present -900 VIPs and 3,500 journalists- sounds with few decibels for what would be natural in a planetary event like this. The opening Went from less to more. It started out lazy, without emotion or vertigo. And later it took color with the central moments.
The smile of athletes
Then, in the short shot, the smiles of the athletes who parade prove that the immense efforts of Japan and the IOC have been worth it. There is no audience but they feel like protagonists. And this is already the case when on the way to the Stadium, athletes from other countries ask our people for photos. The most demanded, by far, those of basketball, it does not matter Gasoline, Rudy what Sergio Rodriguez.
And if on television you felt the warmth with which Japan receives the world in these Games, in situ the perception was multiplied by the almost 40 degrees of temperature and the very high humidity that made many athletes sweat. The Silence Games have already begun. Last night what was missing were the decibels and the excitement of the applause. To amplify to the world the message that the Olympism wanted to offer after winning the pulse (or perhaps not yet) with the covid19.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.