Tokyo prepares to open an Olympics like no other

Tokyo prepares to open an Olympics like no other
The Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony takes place at the Olympic Stadium on Friday (12:00 BST). Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The Tokyo Olympic Games are about to open, but it will be unlike any other games in its history. The Olympics feel and look different to any other Games, but they are here, at last.

With an unexpected additional year of preparation under their belts due to the coronavirus pandemic, more than 11,300 athletes from 207 countries will compete over the next couple of weeks, all vying to get their hands on the medal they have worked so long for.

When the Games were postponed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, organisers said the Olympic flame “could become the light at the end of the tunnel”. With the coronavirus infections still raging worldwide, that metaphorical tunnel is still being traversed, but the opening ceremony on Friday offers a glimmer of that light.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said: “I think it will be a moment of joy and relief when entering the stadium, a moment of joy in particular for the athletes because I know how much they are longing for this moment.”

“Then they can finally be there, they can enjoy this moment under very special circumstances.”

Quarantine, masks, saliva tests will be part and parcel of this Olympic games. Make no mistake, these are an Olympics unlike any other.

With Tokyo in a state of emergency throughout the Olympics after a spike in coronavirus infections, the Games have come under huge criticism from the Japanese people, the majority of whom have said they want the Olympics to be postponed again or cancelled.

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