AFTER a delay by a year due to the covid19 pandemic, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan officially got going on Friday morning with a four-hour-long opening ceremony, without spectators, at the Olympic Stadium.
Veteran sprinter Kelly-Ann Baptiste, who will be participating in her fifth Games, carried the TT flag at the opening ceremony. However, owing to covid19 restrictions, only a few members of the TT delegation crossed the stage behind the 34-year-old Baptiste.
Eldric Sella, the 24-year-old Venezuelan-born boxer who only left TT on Tuesday for Tokyo, also crossed the stage, as a member of the Refugee Olympic Team.
Fewer than a thousand foreign dignitaries, diplomats, Olympic sponsors and International Olympic Committee members were present at the opening ceremony.
This Olympics (also known as the Summer Games) will be a unique affair as no fans will be permitted at any event during the showpiece event (which runs until August 8), while there were hundreds of protesters marching outside the stadium, carrying placards which read "Lives over Olympics. Many Japanese residents have expressed their displeasure with the staging of the Games during the pandemic.
On July 8, the Japanese Government enforced a state of emergency, from July 12-August 22, to deal with a rise in covid19 cases.
During this week, a number of athletes and officials tested positive for covid19 while at the athletes' village.