The 2020 Tokyo Olympics finally kicks off today on Friday, having retained its name but little else in the year since it was delayed by Covid-19.
The Games will begin still in the shadow of that pandemic, with the Japanese capital under a state of emergency and many of the country’s residents adamantly opposed to holding the world sporting event at all.
Yet Japan has staked its international reputation on making these Olympics a success, in spite of the coronavirus and the various scandals that have dominated the preceding weeks and months.
Instead of a 68,000-capacity crowd cheering as athletes from more than 200 countries parade with flags through Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, fewer than a thousand foreign dignitaries and diplomats, Olympic sponsors and members of the International Olympic Committee will be present as the Games officially begin.
The opening ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. local time in Japan.
Kenya is among the nations set to participate and give the rest of the world a run for their money.