With karate currently on another upswing due to its resurgent popularity in movies and television, viewers are hoping to see excitement in a sport that isn’t always as violent as casual sports fans probably believe.
There’s an urgency to the questions about whether the Olympic flame can burn away the fear or provide a measure of catharsis — and even awe — after a year of suffering and uncertainty in Japan and around the world.
The festivities of the Opening Ceremony took a brief pause, as athletes and officials observed a moment of silence in remembrance of both the lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those killed during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.
Japan marched last in the Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations as the host country. The iconic red and white flag was held higher than most thanks to Japan's tall flagbearer, Washington Wizards star Rui Hachimura.