Olympic champions, sailor Hannah Mills and rower Moe Sbihi led Team GB into the Tokyo 2020 stadium at Friday’s Opening Ceremony.
For the first time nations were allowed to nominate one female and one male athlete as flagbearers. Mills is the first female British sailor to carry the Union flag at an Olympics opening ceremony.
Elidah McInytre, with whom Mills won the 2019 470 World Championship, shared the moment with her teammate as one of just a handful of British athletes who marched behind the flagbearers.
With most parade teams reduced to minimum numbers and a virtually empty stadium after a year long delay due to the pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics officially kicked off.
With the ongoing threat of Covid-19, and the Japanese capital still under a state of emergency, apart from the anti-games protestors outside the stadium, Tokyo’s citizens appear to be trying to ignore the show and going about their normal business.
After the official speeches, the national displays and the technically spectacular drone representation of the world, Japan’s tennis star Naomi Osaka climbed the steps to light the cauldron, the official start of the Tokyo Games.
The traditional spectacular fireworks display then erupted over the stadium . . . Let the Games begin.
For the British sailors, the first racing will be for the men’s and women’s RS:X windsurfing, plus the Laser and Laser Radial singlehanders on Sunday 25 July. Followed by the other six sailing events to conclude on August 4.