There might not have been any fans in the Olympic stadium, but Japan still found a way to put on a show for the opening of the 2020 Summer Games. The host nation wowed early on with the Parade of Nations, which featured an orchestrated video game soundtrack, then showed off the type of creativity he’s known for with a performance involving the Olympic pictograms. But Tokyo saved the biggest show for last.
Towards the end of the ceremony, a fleet of 1,824 drones took off over the Olympic Stadium. Originally dressed in the symbol of the 2020 Games, they then took on the shape of Earth before a rendition of John Lenon’s “Imagine,” which was reworked by Hans Zimmer for the Olympics, played through the stadium.
We’ve seen screens like this before. At Super Bowl LI in 2017, a pre-recorded segment with 300 Intel drones forming the American flag punctuated Lady Gaga’s halftime performance. Technically, the drone show that took place over Tokyo is not the greatest of all time. As of the start of the year, this distinction has belonged to a Hyundai-owned car brand with 3,281 displays, Genesis, presented in Shanghai, China. But even with fewer drones involved, the Tokyo drone show was still awe-inspiring.
If you missed the Opening Ceremony, you can watch it again at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
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