Opening ceremony, masks, reaction, Team USA sing happy birthday to Kevin Durant, video, updates

The Tokyo Olympics opened in a strangely empty stadium on Friday after defying a one-year pandemic delay and lingering coronavirus threats that would make them perhaps the Olympics. most unusual in history.

A parade reduced about 5,700 athletes, much lower than the usual number, entered the stadium, not all of them social distancing but all wearing masks.

Even so, questions were raised after the Olympic teams of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan barely wore masks.

Only one Kyrgyz athlete covered his face with a mask while others including two flag bearers did not.

It was a similar problem for the Tajikistan team and in stark contrast to the rest of the ceremony participants.


A Covid-19 adviser to the Japanese government has warned organizers not to properly prepare for the worst case scenario if the virus spreads through the Olympic village.

Leading virologist Hitoshi Oshitani spoke with NS Sydney Morning Herald, revealed his concern for safety in a village that will host more than 15,000 athletes along with journalists, sponsors and officials.

The organizers are adamant that they are prepared for possible infections and have systems in place to prevent the hordes from spreading but Professor Oshitani is not convinced.

“I don’t think the organizers did their best to minimize the risk,” said Professor Oshitani.

“They just said the Olympics were safe without giving any strategy to reduce the risk.

“They have more than a year after deciding to postpone the Olympics. They knew they were going to host this Olympics in the middle of a pandemic. But what did they do? I don’t think they’re prepared for the worst.”

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Athletes have been tested for coronavirus every day at the Olympics, with confirmed cases not allowed to compete and either hospitalized or isolated at a hotel.

An estimated 20,000 tests will be performed daily throughout the Olympics, Tetsuya Miyamoto, senior director of the medical services department at the Tokyo 2020 operations office, told reporters during the tour. Olympic Village.

Of those, 100 are expected to be carried out at a dedicated fever clinic, which will be used to test and isolate people suspected of having Covid-19 or considered close contacts. .

On top of that, inside the village, athletes were instructed to spend as little time as possible in the main dining area.

The IOC has developed a series of Covid-19 ‘Playbooks’ for the Tokyo Olympics that include recommendations on mask wearing, personal hygiene, social distancing and daily testing.

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“Playbooks have been developed based on science, benefiting from the knowledge gained during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a joint statement by the IOC and the Olympics. other and government officials.

Kenji Shibuya, a prominent Japanese medical expert, warned the IOC’s bubble system appeared to have “broken” before the Games started.

“The IOC books are not perfect and many visitors and delegates do not follow the guidelines,” he saidAl-Jazeera.

“The fundamental problem is the lack of public, transparent and scientific discussions about the conditions under which the Olympics can be held safely and securely.”


There was, however, a moment of humorous relief during the Opening Ceremony.

Team USA sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Kevin Durant but there was one small problem – it wasn’t his birthday.

The Brooklyn Nets star will actually turn 33 on September 29.

He looked just as confused as everyone was watching at home and teammate JaVale McGee made sure to capture the hilarious moment on camera for the world to see.

Durant is one of three U.S. basketball players with Olympic experience and shooting for a third gold medal.

The team’s preparations didn’t get off to the best start, though, with defeats to Nigeria and Australia in the exhibition matches.

Men’s basketball begins Sunday against France with the rest of Team America’s team of Iran and the Czech Republic. | Opening ceremony, masks, reaction, Team USA sing happy birthday to Kevin Durant, video, updates


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