Is Tokyo Allowing Spectators at the 2021 Summer Olympics?

olympics 2021 crowd spectators audience

Getty A General View of The Tokyo Big Sight, home to the Olympic IBC and MPC where the Worlds Media will work from at the 2020 Olympic Games on July 17, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Athletes from around the globe are gathering to compete for their countries in the 2021 Olympic games after the Olympics was delayed due to the coronavirus in 2020. The Olympics will look different this year with host country Japan in a state of emergency due to the pandemic and a significant limit on spectators.

The opening ceremony begins at 7 a.m. Eastern time Friday, July 23, 2021, and NBC will begin broadcast of the opening ceremony at 6:55 a.m. It is scheduled to conclude at 11 a.m., according to NBC. You can watch the livestream of the opening ceremony here.

The opening ceremony will be replayed during prime time beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, NBC reported.

Here’s what you need to know:


Spectators at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo Will Be Highly Limited Due to COVID-19

Spectators at the 2021 Olympics will be limited to about 950 people, according to USA Today. This will include representatives from nations across the world and VIP attendees. Last year was designated as the year for the Olympics, but it was postponed due to COVID-19.

“The highly anticipated Tokyo Opening Ceremony will be the first major global gathering since the worldwide pandemic began last year,” NBC reported. “The NBC primetime broadcast will feature special coverage of Team USA, along with the performances, pageantry, and Parade of Nations, the heart of any Opening Ceremony, which will be especially meaningful this year.”

The Olympic games had been scheduled for July 2020, but Japanese officials decided to postpone the global event after officials in Canada, Australia and other countries said they would not send their athletes overseas in the early days of the pandemic in March 2020, according to Mental Floss. The delayed start to the Olympics was the 6th time in modern history the Olympic games were postponed or canceled since 1896, the article said. The cancellations and delays were typically due to world wars in the past.


The Audience at the 2021 Olympics Will Include First Lady Jill Biden

Less than 1,000 people will be in the crowd of spectators at the 2021 Olympics games, which will not include local spectators after Japan declared a state of emergency just days before the start of the games.

“It will look different — international spectators were banned from the Games months ago, and just over a week before the opening ceremony, Japan entered a state of emergency and local fans were barred as well,” USA Today reported. “Organizers said Thursday that the crowd on hand will be limited to about 950 people, including VIPs, government officials and foreign dignitaries. First Lady Jill Biden will be there as the head of the U.S. delegation, and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has said it expects about 230 of its athletes to march during the ceremony.”

The audio at the Olympics might also sound different, the article continued. The Olympic games officials opted not to pump in artificial noise, but decided instead to use audio equipment that will catch more of the ambient sounds.

“Though the stadium will lack fans, there will not be artificial noise pumped in,” the article said. “Officials will instead use more audio equipment to try and catch more natural sounds.”

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