And the Olympic flame came to set the summit of Mount Fuji ablaze ... In a stadium in the four-fifths desert, populated only by 900 officials and 3,500 journalists from all over the world, Naomi Osaka, the ultimate relay of a journey started again on March 25 in Japan (after having been put in brackets for a year of postponement) lit the cauldron placed on a pyramid symbolizing from its 3,776 meters the highest point of the Middle Kingdom.
Blown away by the Covid-19 wind, the flame flickered for months, but it held on.
The Games of the XXXII Olympiad are now open after an interminable ceremony lasting nearly four hours.
"Please take full advantage of the Olympics and the city of Tokyo," Governor Yuriko Koike said.
I hope the 2020 Games will be the best they've ever seen and one that will be remembered for a long time.
Mount Fuji version 3.0 # Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/DtUC5iu1A0
- Eric Bruna (@ ebruna1973) July 23, 2021
Without a doubt.
If the viewers all over the planet were able to be enthusiastic about a show cut out for the small screen, this Japanese evening of July 23, 2021 will leave a special, indefinable sensation to the privileged seated in the stands.
An atmosphere that is both heavy and light, sound but silent.
Like the impression of attending a final rehearsal.
And the frustration of not seeing in the surrounding stands, the smiling faces of the hundreds of people who came to the surroundings of the enclosure to welcome foreigners and show them that, despite the sanitary context, the whole capital is not hostile to the reception of the great sports festival.
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Under these conditions, the sublime Japanese hymn "Kimi Ga Yo", performed by local star Misai, sounded almost like a funeral oration, turning solemnity into seriousness.
Melancholy in sadness.
Especially as a preamble to a painting in memory of the Munich Olympics attack in 1972 and all the missing from the Covid, followed by a surreal minute of silence ...
The following scenes fortunately gave a little more balm to the heart and clicks in the ears, with in particular a beautiful tribute to the wooden rings, a nod to the trees planted by athletes from all countries in… 1964, during the last Games visit to Tokyo.
Message of remembrance and hope to precede the long-awaited moment of the parade of athletes, applauded by hundreds of artists if not from the public, and who came to give a soul to the evening.
"You will cherish this moment forever"
A parade of 206 nations, including an unnamed Russia and a team of refugees under the IOC banner, opened by Greece, the cradle of Olympism, and ended by Japan.
With, just before the Japanese representatives, the arrival of the 80 French athletes (out of 378) behind the flag-bearer duo Clarisse Agbegnenou and Samir Aït Saïd (who, like a good gymnast, performed a somersault) and under the watchful eye of the president Macron.
All placed so as to form a blue-white-red trail and singing the Marseillaise.
🇫🇷 Our French team is in place for the parade 👊 # AllezLesBleus pic.twitter.com/31XeoznLN6
- France Team (@EquipeFRA) July 23, 2021
Even if the champions were initially asked not to show off their smartphones, most did not resist immortalizing this moment of an unforgettable life in more than one way, accompanied by music from famous video games. Some, like the Italians, did not hesitate to sing to punctuate their march. “We waited for five years,” smiles cyclist Elia Viviani, in charge of wearing the transalpine colors high with shooter Jessica Rossi. We dreamed of this moment, it is the pinnacle for an athlete. "
Despite a deliberately small number of competitors, their colorful and somewhat sparse patchwork still took two hours to assemble at the foot of Mount Fuji version 3.0 to listen to athletes, referees and judges take the oath and admire the Tokyo 2020 logo. spread out in the center of the arena. Listen to Imagine, a universal and timeless theme of brotherhood, freedom, peace and hope. “Imagine all the people sharing all the word” sang John Lennon in 1971…
"After all the difficulties linked to the first postponement in history, the Olympics finally open today," summarized Seiko Hashimoto, president of the organizing committee before the official launch of the competition by Emperor Naruhito. Let's celebrate this peaceful world. And kudos to the athletes for their efforts. You will cherish this moment forever. And the Olympic flame came to set the summit of Mount Fuji ablaze. And so, we (almost) forgot everything else. Make way for the game (s) ...