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Let the Games begin!
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to officially kick off on Friday, July 23, with the Opening Ceremony. At the event, teams from around the globe will represent their countries as they prepare to compete.
This historic ceremony will be the first major global gathering amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And although this year’s Opening Ceremony is likely to be more subdued given the health crisis, it’s shaping up to be more meaningful than ever. In fact, basketball star Sue Bird and baseball player Eddy Alvarez will lead the U.S. team as flag bearers during the ceremony. While in years past only one person has been selected for this role, the International Olympic Committee made a change to promote inclusivity.
“With 49 percent female participation, Tokyo 2020 will be the first gender-equal Olympic Games ever,” the committee said in a May statement. “For the first time, there will be at least one female and one male athlete in each of the teams participating in the Games.”
As we await Tokyo’s big kick-off, E! News is looking back at some of the most memorable Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Take a look at the gallery below to revisit Etta James, Celine Dion, Paul McCartney and The Chicks‘ performances at the event over the years!
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony airs Friday, July 23 on NBC.