Take a Trip Down Memory Lane With the Olympic Opening Ceremonies Through the Years

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As the Tokyo Olympics officially kicks off, E! News is looking back at some of the most memorable Opening Ceremonies in history. Read on for a trip down Olympics lane.

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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 JamesCeline DionPaul McCartney and The Chicks‘ performances at the event over the years!

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1908 Olympics in London

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The U.S. Olympic Team, 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles

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1932 Olympics in Los Angeles

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Yoshinori Sakai, 1964 Olympics in Tokyo

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1968 Olympics in Mexico

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Team USA, 1972 Olympics in Munich

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1976 Olympics in Montreal

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1980 Olympics in Moscow

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Etta James, 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles

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1984 Olympics in Los Angeles

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1992 Olympics in Barcelona

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Celine Dion, 1996 Olympics in Atlanta

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Cathy Freeman of Australia, 2000 Olympics in Sydney

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Nikki Webster, 2000 Olympics in Sydney

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The Dixie Chicks, 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City

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2004 Olympics in Athens

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Dancers Perform at 2008 Olympics in Beijing

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Paul McCartney, 2012 Olympics in London

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Queen Elizabeth II Performer Parachutes Into 2012 Olympics in London

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2012 Olympics in London

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Michael Phelps, 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony airs Friday, July 23 on NBC.