One year late, and after much debate, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have finally kicked off. For those of us living in Tokyo, we had almost forgotten what those three words meant, what the cute Olympic mascots Someity and Miraitowa represented, or why the classic orange and green taxis have been largely replaced by the sleek, black Toyota taxi (“JPN taxi”). Nevertheless, 11,000 athletes from 206 countries and regions of the world have at last assembled for the Games of the 32nd Olympiad.
The 50 Olympic Pictograms
Japan has developed 50 new pictograms to represent the various Olympic events on the schedule this year. The simple blue and white graphics are easy to recognize at a glance. The original pictograms designed for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics were redesigned for several subsequent Olympics, and this year, Japan took them to a new level. Part of the opening ceremony included a live reenactment of them. It was something like charades and Pictionary combined at triple speed with some clever camera work. If you watch nothing else related to the Olympics, you must watch this:
Day one of the Olympics is drawing to a close, and so far Japan has won one gold and one silver medal in men’s and women’s judo, respectively.
(See the Olympic medal chart for the latest stats.)
The lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been rocky, with the year-long extension and the hovering possibility of cancellation. Many Japanese have mixed feelings about it, and some continued protesting it up to the day before the opening ceremony. Yet the heart of any Japanese would be moved by the look of stunned disbelief replaced by pure joy on judo player Naohisa Takato’s face after he received the gold medal.
Although this was our first year watching judo, this fast-paced, high-energy sport might just be our new favorite. And in case you are wondering how you can watch the Olympics live, here are some options:
TV: NHK (channel 1), Fuji TV (channel 5)
In the US
TV: NBC USA, NBCSN, CNBC, Olympic Channel and Golf Channel
Streaming: Peacock Free (mostly replays), Peacock Premium Plus (7-day trial, $99.99/1 year, on-demand sports with limited ads), AT&T TV now, Hulu Plus Live TV, and YouTube TV