TOKYO— Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said on Thursday that he expects the hosts to present a one-of-a-kind opening ceremony for the Summer Olympic Games here.
The opening ceremony is set at 8 p.m., when the sun has set in Japan.
“They [Tokyo] will make sure that the opening ceremony will be the best ever,” said Tolentino, who arrived here on Wednesday with POC Secretary General Atty. Edwin Gastanes and POC Legal Head Atty. Billy Sumagui.
Tolentino said he got wind that Tokyo is going digital with its presentation.
“I heard that they’re using lasers, holograms and drones, but exactly what they are remain a secret,” Tolentino said. “But the opening ceremony will perhaps be the best ever, because of the pandemic.”
Tokyo Olympics organizers banned fans from all venues during the 17-day games that end on August 8—and that includes both the opening and closing ceremony.
The 205 member countries—only North Korea opted to skip the Games—attending the Olympics are allowed only three VVIPs at the stands—the national Olympic committee president and secretary general and sports minister, in the Philippines’ case Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez.
It means that at least 605—wire reports say a thousand VVIPs and dignitaries—of the 68,000-seat stadium will be occupied for the kickoff event for what has been dubbed as “the greatest show on earth.”
The organizers, Tolentino said, limited the number of officials from six countries who can join the parade to six, but opened the ceremony to as many athletes as each member nation wanted to send.
“But we won’t do that [sending more athletes in the parade],” Tolentino stressed. “I don’t want to risk the health and safety of our athletes.”
Eumir Felix Marcial (boxing) and Kiyomi Watanabe (judo) are the country’s flag bearers during the parade where the male Filipino participants will be wearing cocoon silk barongs with a machine-embroidered pitchera design muslin inner shirts and light wool black pants, and the female will be clad in cocoon silk short blazers with a machine embroidered front and sleeves and neoprene spaghetti-strapped black inner blouses and neoprene black pants—all from Kultura.
Highlighting their parade uniforms are Rajo Laurel-designed “alampay” (shawl) also with a native Filipino touch.
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