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    There’s no massive dance-off like the Olympic ceremony five years ago in Rio or rock concert from the 2012 London Games. Tokyo went for a more silent approach to jump-start the 2020 Olympics on Friday. With being delayed for a year, the Games still could not escape the pandemic.

    Athletes have begun competing a couple of days ago but the opening ceremony is the formal opener to the Games. Locals curious about the event gathered outside the venue’s exterior fencing late in the afternoon. There were also some protesters nearby who are upset that the Games were going ahead in the pandemic.

    There are dozens of flags around the perimeter of the building, overseeing the tens of thousands of empty seats. A night normally filled with celebration and locals letting loose appeared to feel more like a dress rehearsal. The performances were very strong, but the applause and cheering were a fraction of the normal level.

    Athletes had to wear masks and they were in their national team kit. They were waving their hands and tried to enjoy the moment, with minimal cheering. 

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