After being postponed a year, the Tokyo Olympics will officially begin today with the opening ceremony commencing at 19:00 Beijing time. Taking place at the city’s New National Stadium, the Chinese Olympic delegation will be the 108th team to enter the parade. Women’s volleyball player Zhu Ting and Taekwondo athlete Zhao Shuai have been selected as the flag bearers.
The event has been highly anticipated by online users. “#Tokyo Olympics Games opening ceremony is being held today” (#东京奥运会今天开幕#) gained 430 million views. Meanwhile, the event-wide hashtag of “#Tokyo Olympic Games” (#东京奥运会#) has surpassed 2.71 billion views and 2.79 million comments.
“Looking forward to watching Zhu Ting carry the flag at the opening ceromony! Hurrah for the Chinese team and all the Olympic athletes!”Comments on Weibo
China has sent a delegation of 777 people to Tokyo for the 17-day event, including 431 athletes (298 female and 133 male), and 346 sports team staff, such as coaches, team leaders, and medical personnel. This makes China the largest overseas team in the Tokyo Olympics and the country has high hopes to take home a number of medals across the 225 events and 30 sports it is participating in.
Among the team, 138 (32.02%) athletes have taken part in previous Olympic Games. They come from 28 provinces and have an average age of 25.4 years old. The youngest Chinese participant is 14-year-old diver Quan Hongchan and the oldest is 52-year-old Li Zhenqiang, representing the equestrian team.
“What we have in front us is bound to be a difficult battle that we have never encountered before. It’s more than just a competition, but also our determination and spirit.”Gou Zhongwen, director of China General Administration of Sport