Tokyo's expensive new Olympic Stadium will be mostly empty for the opening ceremony
From CNN's Will Ripley in Tokyo
Tokyo's skyline goes as far as the eye can see, but from the air, the $1.5 billion stadium built for the 2020 Olympics stands out in the Japanese capital's urban sprawl.
It can hold nearly 70,000 people, but for Friday night's opening ceremony, most seats will be empty. Organizers said only about 950 VIPs will attend.
CNN toured Tokyo via helicopter to see the stadium from above. Watch here:
12:35 a.m. ET, July 23, 2021
The first Olympic record of Tokyo 2020 has been set
From CNN's Jill Martin
The first Olympic record of the Tokyo 2020 Games has been set. An San of South Korea scored a record 680 in the women's archery individual ranking round.
She shot 36 10s and 16 Xs to break the previous record held by Lina Herasymenko of Ukraine, who scored 673 at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
12:23 a.m. ET, July 23, 2021
110 Covid-19 cases in Japan are linked to the Olympics
From CNN's Chandler Thornton in Hong Kong
Authorities have identified 110 Covid-19 cases tied to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the event's organizers said Friday.
Three of those new cases were reported from Tokyo's Olympic Village, one of whom was an athlete. Twelve cases have now been identified in the village, according to Tokyo 2020.
One other athlete was reported to have contracted the virus Friday but was not a resident of the village, according to organizers. The remaining new cases were identified as media, contractors and Games staff.
Tokyo 2020 is not revealing the names or nationalities of those who have been infected.
12:14 a.m. ET, July 23, 2021
Protesters and fans gather in Tokyo as Olympic torch relay reaches final leg
From CNN's Emi Jozuka, Blake Essig and Daishi Kusunoki in Tokyo
Anti-Games protesters and Olympics fans gathered Friday in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building as the Olympic torch reached its final destination ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday.
Dozens of protesters held “no Olympics anywhere” signs, chanted “get out IOC” and banged on tambourines, demanding the Games be called off amid a heavy police presence.
“I came here today because I still don’t think it’s too late for the Olympics to be canceled,” said Namaeshi, an anti-Olympics protester. “We are concerned about the Covid-19 cases increasing in Tokyo.”
Overhead, other members of the public gathered on a bridge overlooking a main road leading to the building, hoping to catch a glimpse of the torch.
A significant portion of the Japanese public opposes holding the Olympics in the middle of a pandemic. Japan has struggled to rein in new cases and Tokyo remains under a state of emergency due to Covid-19.
The final stretch: The ceremony marking the torch’s final destination in Tokyo will be held behind closed doors. Takako Kobayashi, an 80-year-old who saw the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games on television, said she had ventured out of her home to try and see the torch.
“We are living in very difficult times but I’m quite excited about the Olympics,” Kobayashi said. “It’s sad but this Olympics is so different to the 1964 Summer Games. Back then Japan’s economy was growing. It’s not like that now. I hope coronavirus goes away soon.”
10:20 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021
This is the weather forecast for the opening ceremony
The Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony will officially kick off the Olympic Games — delayed by a year because of the pandemic.
The ceremony will start at 8 p.m. local time in Japan, which is 7 a.m. ET.
The weather is forecast to be pleasant for the ceremony, with a temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).
10:20 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021
Fans will be able to attend less than 12% of Olympic venues
Spectators will only be able to attend less than 12% of Olympic venues during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
Just five of the 42 total Olympic venues across Japan will be open to fans. Tokyo is home to 25 of the venues, with the rest in seven other prefectures.
Tokyo venues and three prefectures near the capital — Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama — will not have spectators.
Miyagi, Ibaraki, and Shizuoka prefectures with a total of five venues can be filled to 50% of capacity with a maximum of 10,000 spectators.
10:11 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021
Here's how to watch the Olympics opening ceremony today in the US
From CNN's Alyssa Kraus
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony officially kicks off the Games today. The ceremony will take place in the early hours of US Eastern time due to Tokyo's time difference.
What's the time difference? Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of US Eastern Time, so many of the events — including the opening ceremony — will be replayed each day on NBC in the US. However, if you want to watch the events live, many will be held during the early morning in US Eastern Time.
When can I watch the ceremony? The event will take place at 8 p.m. local time in Japan on Friday, which is 7 a.m. ET.
If you miss the live broadcast, the roughly four-hour opening ceremony will also be replayed at 7:30 p.m. ET.
How can I watch the Olympics in the US? NBC, its sister cable networks, its dedicated site NBCOlympics.com and the company’s new streaming platform, Peacock, will broadcast the Olympics.
In linear form, coverage will spill across NBC and eight other Comcast-owned cable channels, including USA, CNBC, NBC Sports Network and Telemundo. The menu will total more than 7,000 hours encompassing 35 sports, with NBC serving as the home for highlights and top events.
If you're in the US, these are the Olympic events you'll want to watch on Friday
From CNN's Alyssa Kraus
The Olympics opening ceremony will take place Friday, signaling the official start of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
Here are some major events you'll want to watch live on Friday, Eastern Time:
Opening ceremony: The event starts at 8 p.m. local time in Japan, which is 7 a.m. ET. If you miss the live broadcast, the roughly four-hour event will also be replayed at 7:30 p.m. ET in the US.
Tennis: The first rounds of men's and women's singles, along with the first rounds of men's and women's doubles will be broadcast live from 10 p.m. ET to 2 a.m. ET on Friday. The matches will be replayed on Saturday between 7 a.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET in the US.
Water polo: The US women's water polo match against Japan will be live at 1 a.m. ET on Friday. The event will be replayed on Saturday in the US, along with events such as 3x3 US women's basketball, rowing, archery and men's cycling, between 10:45 a.m. ET and 2:45 p.m. ET.
In case you missed it, here are some events from earlier this week that will be replayed on Friday:
Softball: Two Team USA softball games will be replayed on Friday, including US vs. Italy and US vs. Canada, from 8 a.m. ET to 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday in the US. The events took place on Wednesday and Thursday respectively in Japan.
Football: The US women's football team's match against Sweden will be replayed on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET in the US. The match took place on Wednesday in Japan.
View NBC's full schedule for Friday and Saturday here.
9:26 p.m. ET, July 22, 2021
What we know about the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony
From CNN's Ben Morse
The opening ceremony for this year's Summer Games — which were delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic — will take place Friday in Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.
Usually held in a stadium full of ecstatic fans, this year's ceremony will have athletes from across the globe parading in a near empty venue after it was announced that spectators would not be allowed to attend because of rising Covid-19 cases in Japan.
"The most difficult part of the process was that the postponement meant a simplification of the ceremonies and the message had to be drastically revised," said Takayuki Hioki, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee executive producer of ceremonies.
"After nearly five years of planning, we found ourselves suddenly having to rethink everything. This was the biggest challenge," said Hioki.
Due to restrictions, only a select number of officials and some dignitaries will be present for the opening ceremony.
Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Hidemasa Nakamura told CNN that about 950 VIPs will take part in the event. The total will include around 800 foreign guests and 150 from Japan, CNN affiliate TV Asahi reported.
Japan's Emperor Naruhito, who will declare the Olympics open, will be attending without any other member of the imperial family, according to the Imperial Household Agency.
With all the struggles and difficulties that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has faced to stage the Games in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, president Thomas Bach believes it will be a moment of "joy and relief."
However as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Tokyo, there will be notable absentees. Japanese automaker Toyota has confirmed its CEO, Akio Toyoda, will not be attending the ceremony.