Global artists bring world together in “Imagine” moment during Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony
Today's opening ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 saw five continents unite with global artists Alejandro Sanz and John Legend. Hundreds of millions watched the emotional performance of "Imagine" by John Lennon, Yoko Ono.
Hans Zimmer, a renowned composer, was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Suginami Children's Choir from Asia began in Tokyo's Olympic Stadium. It passed the baton to artists from Africa, Europe and the Americas, who all joined via remote. TAIKOPROJECT, the Synchron Stage Orchestra (and Stage Choir) supported them.
"This song represents the Olympic Games' values. It's a call to peace, brotherhood, unity and solidarity," IOC President Thomas Bach stated. He stated again in his opening speech: "We can only move faster, and we can aim higher. We can only grow stronger if we stand together, in solidarity."
The Olympic Games and "Imagine" have been in contact many times over the song's history. It communicates messages of hope, solidarity, and togetherness. Stevie Wonder (Atlanta 1996), Peter Gabriel (Turin 2006), and the English children's chorus (London 2012), as well as K-Pop stars Ha Hyunwoo, Jeon IN-kwon and Lee Eun-mi (PyeongChang 2018,) have performed "Imagine" at Olympic ceremonies for decades. These performances have helped to establish a connection between the song and the Olympic Games.
John Lennon was the first person to link his song to the Olympic Games. He said it in an interview just three days before his death: "We're certainly not the first people to say Imagine No Countries' or ‘Give Peace a Chance. But we're carrying that torch like the Olympic torch, passing this torch to each other, each country, and to each generation. That's our job.
Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (IOC) collaborated with top creatives to create an Opening Ceremony that showed how the world and its athletes can be stronger together through a display of unity, hope and connection.
The Olympic Games officially began with the much-anticipated Opening Ceremony. This was a moment Japan had worked tirelessly to prepare for and one for which the athletes - 60% of whom will compete only in one Olympic Summer Games -- have been training and waiting for their whole lives.