The long wait for the official opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics is finally over and Team Nigeria athletes did not disappoint during the traditional march past by participating countries.
With sixty athletes billed to take part in 10 sports, the Nigerian athlete were a beauty to behold.
The rescheduled 2020 Olympic Games was officially opened on Friday with Naomi Osaka the torch-bearer as the COVID-19-paused event finally got underway in very muted circumstances just as the IOC president, Thomas Bach alluded to in his speech.
Bach said, “Today is a moment of hope. Yes, it is very different from what all of us had imagined but let us cherish this moment because finally, we are all here together.”
There were less than 1000 spectators in the stadium and they were mostly media people and organisers of the event. Aruna Quadri, Team Nigeria’s flag-bearer, entered the arena at exactly 1:52 pm as the country started the 17th Olympic Games expedition.
The ceremony also included Kabuki theatre, which is supposed to dispel negative vibes.
The organisers also sent the traditional message of peace as global pop stars sang John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Imagine,” while drones formed the shape of the Olympic emblem in the sky above the stadium and transformed into the shape of the globe.
“With the world in a tough situation because of the coronavirus pandemic, I would like to pay my respect and express my gratitude to medical workers and all those who are working hard every day to overcome the difficulties,” said the president of the organising committee, Seiko Hashimoto.
Most countries were represented by both male and female flagbearers in an Olympic first, but not everybody took pandemic measures.
Teams from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Pakistan flagbearers paraded maskless in an awkward contrast to protocol and the vast majority of other athletes at the ceremony.