Boxing great MC Mary Kom and Indian men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh led the Indian contingent at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics into the National Stadium on Friday during the Opening Ceremony of the event.
19 Indian athletes attended the ceremony with six officials accompanying them. Some of the athletes included Simranjeet Kaur, Vikas Krishan, Manish Kaushik, Satish Kumar, Ashish Kumar, Amit Panghal Pooja Rani, Lovlina Borgohain, Sathiyan, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Bhavani Devi, Pranati Nayak, Sajan Prakash, and Ankita Raina. [Follow LIVE Coverage of 2020 Tokyo Olympics]
Organisers expect about 5,700 athletes to take part in the parade. Some will skip it because of early competitions on Saturday or to avoid risk of exposure to the coronavirus. And this parade differs from most others in the past because the nations are being spaced out — a nod to social distancing.
Hundreds of volunteers are on the stadium floor as well to greet the athletes as they walk through. Many athletes are waving; others are capturing their entrance on their phone cameras.
Moments before the parade, a wooden set of Olympic rings was displayed at the center of the stadium in a nod to the 1964 Tokyo Games. There, athletes from around the world were asked to bring seeds that could be planted and become trees.
Wood from 160 pines and spruces, seeds that came from Canada, Ireland and Northern Europe, were used to build the set of Olympic rings displayed Friday.
(with AP inputs)