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Without Fans, Tokyo Olympics Kicked Off
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 24 - 07 - 2021

Emperor Naruhito of Japan formally inaugurated on Friday evening, the 32nd Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, amid absence of spectators for the first time due to precautions against the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony was officially declared open in the presence of Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and head of the Saudi delegation to Tokyo Olympics; Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan, member of the International Olympic Committee and member of the Saudi delegation; Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, Vice President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and deputy head of the Saudi delegation; President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr Thomas Bach and a number of heads of states and international organizations.
The opening ceremony, which lasted four hours, witnessed many musical performances of a traditional Japanese character, followed by the parade of the 205 participating missions, starting by Greece, being the home of the Olympic Games, while the entry of other countries was followed according to the Japanese alphabet.
For the first time, the parade queue witnessed two players carrying the flag of their country; the Saudi rowing team player Hussein Ali Reda and his colleague, the Saudi athletics team player, Yasmine Al-Dabbagh, as the first female athlete from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to qualify for the world's largest sporting event, the Olympics.
The player Hussein Ali Reda expressed his pride in raising the Kingdom's flag in the Tokyo Olympics alongside his colleague Yasmine Al-Dabbagh, stressing that this is a dream that any Saudi citizen desires, hoping that he will be successful with his fellow participants by providing a level that befits the reputation of Saudi sports.
While Yasmine Al-Dabbagh expressed her pride in being the first Saudi player to raise the flag of the Kingdom in the Olympic forum, stressing that participating in the Olympics is the dream of every athlete, aspiring to present an honorable level that reflects the support and attention being provided by the wise leadership of sports in the Kingdom.

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