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All you need to know about the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony


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year later than billed, the Olympic Games are finally arriving in Tokyo, with the largest sporting event on the planet set to get underway.

The coronavirus pandemic saw the Games pushed back 12 months, meaning it’s been five years since the Olympic flame was handed over to Japan by Brazil at the end of Rio 2016.

Here’s everything you need to know about the long-awaited opening ceremony…

When is the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony?

The Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony will take place on Friday, July 23, 2021.

The first events of the Games actually start a couple of days earlier, with the group stage of the football tournaments.

Tokyo residents give their thoughts with one week to Games

What time is the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony?

The opening ceremony is set to get underway at 8pm local time, which translates to midday in the UK, and is scheduled to last three hours.

Where is the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony being held?

As is tradition, the opening ceremony will be held in the main Olympic Stadium, which will host athletics and football during the Games.

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

TV channel: The opening ceremony will be broadcast live on BBC One and Eurosport.

Live stream: TV licence fee payers can stream the opening ceremony for free via the BBC iPlayer, while Eurosport subscribers can do likewise via the Eurosport Player app.

Simone Biles boards flight to Tokyo Olympics alongside Team USA

What can we expect from the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony?

As is always the case, specific details have been kept under wraps, but rumours ahead of last year’s planned ceremony suggested Japan’s technological advancements and video game characters would play prominent roles.

At Rio 2016, former Prime Minster Shinzō Abe dressed up as Mario from the Mario Bros. video game franchise as part of the closing ceremony.

Will there be fans at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony?

No. International fans had already been banned from attending the Games but after a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures in early July, that has extended to a total ban on spectators at most venues.


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