I Declare These Games Open
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I Declare These Games Open

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The Games that was delayed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic declared open

By Dami Igbinyemi

After a year’s delay Tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito officially declared Tokyo 2020 open this morning. The four-hour opening ceremony filled with performances and music on a smaller scale kicked off the start of the Olympics today. This goes to show that humans can persevere in the face of hardships and come together to celebrating and friendly competition.

The Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece almost 3,000 years ago but returned in the late 19th century in Athens, Greece. The Olympic Games is an international multi-sport event celebrated all over the world. The Olympics Games are held in the summer and the winter alternating every two years. The 2020 Summer Olympics was delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes and viewers all over the world were anticipating its return. The Games will take place from July 23 to August 8th, 2021, with 28 sports in 16 days.

In the stadium, there were 950 people all wearing masks and social distancing. For the first time in Olympic history, each nation was allowed two flag bearers, a man, and a woman, for the traditional Parade of Nations. Canada’s flag bearers are Miranda Ayim of the women’s basketball team and Nathan Hirayama co-captain of the men’s rugby team. The Canadian team is made up of 370 athletes all arriving five days before their event and leaving right after they compete.

“Despite those challenges, our Olympic athletes exemplified perseverance, patience, courage, and determination. They remind us that if we work hard, remain disciplined, and give it our best, we can make our dreams come true, even in times of adversity. To our Canadian athletes: thank you for being proud ambassadors for our country and an unrivalled source of inspiration for us all, especially our youth.

“Over the coming weeks, I encourage all Canadians to watch and cheer on our Olympic athletes during the competition in Tokyo. Good luck, Team Canada!” – Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

With the Japanese capital under a state of emergency, many residents are opposed to holding the world sporting event at all. Outside the stadium, hundreds of protesters with signs that say “Lives over Olympics” and chanting “Stop the Olympics” could be heard during the moment of silence for those who have died from COVID-19. The Olympics is taking place this year despite the fear of COVID-19 to bring people together. It allows us to change the conversation from COVID-19 to something a little more positive.

“Today is a moment of hope”, IOC President Thomas Bach said. “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.”

Image source IOC

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