We’re 124 years into the Modern Olympics since 1896, and we can expect a few changes along the way.
The Ancient (original Olympic Games were held from 776 B.C. to 394 A.D, so that’s over 1100 years! (Thanks to the Romans, who abolished it!)
When you think about it, back in 776 B.C., they had the Pentathlon (Discus, Long Jump, Javelin, a Sprint event, & Wrestling)
There were only 3 running events: 200m, 400m, and 5K (approximate distances)
That being said, here are 6 things that stood out from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremonies (held in 2021)
Olympic Motto Change
What we know as Citius Altius Fortius, now has a 4th word.. Together.
No Fans, only VIP
This sucks. Period.
I think Jill Biden (US President Joe Biden’s wife) was one of the US representatives for VIP seating.
I would have preferred a parade down a popular street, thus being outdoors and less risk of covid.
Not All Athletes Marched into the Stadium
Unless you were the flag bearer, I heard USATF Covid protocols means arrive 5 days before your event, and depart 2 days after your event.
5 days is not a lot of time to acclimatise for weather and jet lag.
Only 22 of Team GB’s 375 athlete’s marched in.
Good luck to those competing under those conditions.
Consider Splitting the Games, like Canada Summer Games
The Olympic Ceremonies was just under 4 hours, thanks to a reduced number of athletes marching into the stadium.
To house 10,000 athletes, they could consider splitting the Games into 2 halves and need only 5000 beds (though 6000 would be realistic). The first half of the Games include the Opening ceremonies, and the second half attends the Closing ceremonies. Track and Field is traditionally is the 2nd week, with the Marathon the very last event. You would need to vacate the Olympic Village at the halfway point. (though some events like Football require all 16 days)
Parade of Nations Marching Order
The Parade of Nations is my favourite part, next to guessing who lights the flame.
We know they march in with Greece going first, and Host nation going last.
USA always marches towards the end because of “U” followed by “V”… Vietnam & Venezuela.
Back in Montreal 1976, USA in French is États–Unis, so “E” was early in the parade.
However, a new rule now has the next Host cities to march at the end. So the 2028 Olympic Host (Los Angeles, USA) march 3rd to last, 2024 host France march 2nd to last, and Japan last, of course.
In 2024, It will be Australia (Brisbane 2032) 3rd to last, then USA (LA 2028) 2nd to last, then France (the Host nation).
The other change was the Refugee Olympic Team, who marched 2nd to last in Rio 2016, now marched 2nd behind Greece in 2020.
Lighting the Fame
I remember Sawao Kato at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Between 1968 and 1976 he won 12 Olympic medals, including 8 gold medals, 3 silver, and 1 bronze. (and yes, he’s still alive)
He was my 1st choice to light the flame.
But the Olympic movement wants to appeal to younger audiences, with all their new sports, thus they chose a current well know athlete, Naomi Osaka. She happens to be the highest paid female athlete (ranks 15th in the world including Men), so it was a good choice.
No pressure, Naomi. Remember Cathy Freeman.