The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium inauguration ceremony on Saturday was dominated by the eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt, who blazed his way around the brand-new track with other star athletes like Marlou van Rhijn (Dutch Paralympian sprinter) and Hannah Cockroft (British Paralympian and wheelchair runner) and many others.
The sporting greats ran an exhibition match relay ‘One Race’ in front of a crowd of approximately 60,000 people. It was part of the ‘Hello, Our Stadium’ event to officially open the Olympic stadium, Tokyo2020 has reported on its official website.
“It was a great experience actually being here, running in front of so many people. I was happy and excited because I won’t be getting to compete at the Olympics. The fact that I got to run on the track was an experience in itself. And as I said earlier, it was wonderful that everyone could come together and compete as well. It was for a great cause we need to unite and become one,” Bolt said in a Press conference afterwards.
The popular Jamaican athlete showed he still got his ‘faster than lightning’ moves during the relay and drew loud cheers from the crowd. Bolt praised the condition of the stadium and also said that Tokyo 2020 Olympics might just see his world record broken. “I know Tokyo is going to be extremely exciting because you can see the amount of people that was in the stadium,” Bolt added.
The occasion was marked by a colourful traditional Japanese entertainment show.
The Olympic stadium was built by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who wanted a strong emphasis on environmental awareness. He incorporated materials from Japan’s 47 prefectures plus added mist-cooling systems to keep fans and athletes alike cool during competition events.
The Olympic Stadium will host the Emperor’s Cup JFA 99th Japan Football Championship next month, also as a test event for sports’ biggest quadrennial event.