Live updates from the 2021 Olympics: the latest news from Tokyo

At the opening ceremony, the stands will be virtually empty and athletes from around the world will wave to television cameras rather than a stadium filled with fans and dignitaries.
Credit …Hiroko Masuike / The New York Times

TOKYO – Friday brings what is usually a highlight of any Olympics, the Opening Ceremony. The pageantry, speeches and parade of athletes will proceed as usual, but most likely without the zest and excitement of a typical Olympics.

Most notably, the stands will be virtually empty and athletes from all over the world will wave to television cameras rather than a stadium filled with fans and dignitaries.

To top it off, any planned show will be undermined as Kentaro Kobayashi, the creative director of the ceremony, was fired on Thursday after a video of him mocking the Holocaust was released.

In the United States, NBC typically held the broadcast of the ceremony until the evening, but this year it can be seen live at 6:55 a.m. Eastern Time. The traditional delayed prime-time broadcast is at 7:30 p.m., and there’s a third chance to see it for night owls at 1:38 a.m. Saturday.

Friday is officially Day 0 of the Olympics, and while there aren’t many athletic events to go along with the Opening Ceremony, there is a little more than zero.

Archers will have their qualifying day to determine the seeds when the actual competition begins. And there will be preliminary heats in some rowing events.

Breathe. A deluge of sports, from table tennis to yachting, happens for 18 consecutive days starting on Saturday.

Athletes will march through a largely empty Olympic stadium in Tokyo, as spectators have been banned from most of the Games.  The artists for this year's lineup have yet to be announced.
Credit …Hiroko Masuike / The New York Times

After a year of delay, the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is fast approaching. But with social distancing and the absence of fans, the ceremony, just like the games, will be very different.

The opening ceremony of the Olympics is scheduled for Friday evening in Tokyo. But the 13 hour time difference with Tokyo means it will be Friday morning in the United States.

NBC will broadcast the ceremony live in the morning starting at 6:55 a.m. EST, marking the first time the network has broadcast the event live in the morning. “Today” host Savannah Guthrie and NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico will host NBC’s cover. The ceremony can also be streamed on the NBC Sports app and NBCOlympics.com

Thereafter, NBC will also air a special edition of “Today” which includes interviews with athletes, followed by an Olympic daytime broadcast.

Similar to years past, the network will air a packaged prime-time version of the ceremony at 7:30 p.m. EST on Friday. Coverage will also be replayed overnight for viewers who missed previous broadcasts.

One of the highlights of the opening ceremony is the parade of nations. Four-time gold medalist Sue Bird from the United States and 2014 speed skating silver medalist Eddy Alvarez will serve as the flag bearers for the United States and lead the more delegation. of 230 American players. (There are 613 athletes in total in Team USA)

“It is an incredible honor to be chosen as the flag bearer for the American team,” Bird said in a statement.

Alvarez also said he was humbled by the selection. “It is an honor and a privilege to be named as one of the flag bearers by my fellow American team athletes for the Opening Ceremony. Being a first generation Cuban American, my story represents the American dream, ”said Alvarez.

Athletes will march through a largely empty Olympic stadium in Tokyo, as spectators have been banned from most of the Games. The artists for this year’s lineup have yet to be announced. And NBC has no plans to add background noise that mimics fans in the stands throughout the Games, NBC Olympics executive producer Molly Solomon said on a call last week. This is a change from last year, when most broadcasters sent registered fans to games during the pandemic.

The opening ceremony comes at a time when matches are already underway in Tokyo and concerns about the virus are high. Tokyo’s infection rate peaked in six months. Added to this anxiety is the flurry of announcements of Olympic participants who have tested positive, including those inside the Olympic Village.

Other news has also overshadowed the event in recent days.

Games organizers on Thursday fired Kentaro Kobayashi, the creative director of the ceremony, after video footage of him mocking the Holocaust in a comedic act in the 1990s was shown.

Mr Kobayashi’s dismissal follows the resignation of the composer who wrote the music for the opening ceremony, after extracts from interviews he gave in the 1990s admitting to having suffered severe bullying and abuse. classmates with disabilities have appeared on social networks.

The sailors were training Thursday in the waters off Enoshima, southwest of Tokyo, where the sailing competition will take place.
Credit …James Hill for the New York Times
Credit …Doug Mills / The New York Times
Credit …Hiroko Masuike / The New York Times

There is less than a day until the opening ceremony and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are in turmoil. Athletes are at training venues to make last minute adjustments before the start of their competitions, officials make sure everything is safe and secure, and volunteers run around to make sure things are going well. Our photographers give you a glimpse of what it was like to be in the field.

Credit …Doug Mills / The New York Times
Credit …Doug Mills / The New York Times
Credit …Chang W. Lee / The New York Times
Credit …James Hill for the New York Times
Credit …Alexandra Garcia / The New York Times
Credit …Chang W. Lee / The New York Times

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