— Published 5 July 2021

The opening extended, the closure shortened

Tokyo 2020

The effects of the sanitary crisis will be visible at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games, not just in the message that the Games’ organisers want to send to the rest of the world. On Friday, July 23rd, the schedule for the first night of the Tokyo Games will be changed to take social distancing measures into account. The opening ceremony will start at 8pm, the original time, but it will end at 11.30pm, half an hour later than announced, because of social distancing rules that were imposed between athletes during the delegations’ parade. Seventeen days later, the closing ceremony was shortened by 30 minutes. It will now take place between 8 pm and 10.30 pm. The organisers estimate that the number of athletes still in Japan will be relatively small, so the delegation’s parade will be shorter than in the original version. The Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games will take place unchanged between 8pm and 11pm on Tuesday, August 24th. However, the Closing Ceremony has also been shortened by 30 minutes, for the same logistical reasons.