WATCH: Flagbearers Mary Kom & Manpreet Singh lead the Indian contingent at Tokyo Olympics 2020

This is the country's 25th appearance at the Olympic games and their biggest-evert contingent of over 120 athletes.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 23 July 2021 7:00 pm

The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 has gotten off to a spectacular start. While there was a superb light and sound show to begin the biggest sporting extravaganza, tributes were paid to lives lost due to COVID-19 by the performers as well as the Olympic committee. Soon after, the Japan flag was brought to the field of play before it was hoisted. The theme of this year's event is "Moving forward" and hints at how the world needs to move forward post its biggest health emergency in a century.

The event did not leave a single sphere of life unaffected and the sporting world was among the worst hit. The Tokyo 2020 was delayed by an year but finally commenced today - even as only journalists and officials are allowed at the venue keeping in mind the risk related to the transmission of Coronavirus. Followed by hoisting of the Japan's flag, the much-awaited parade began as Greece became the first country to enter the stadium followed by the Refugee team.

India, led by multiple-time boxing world champion M C Mary Kom and men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh, entered 21st in that order. Notably, the teams enter in alphabetical order but as per the dictionary of the local language - India came 21st with its name coming in that rank as per its Japanese transliteration. This is the country's 25th appearance at the games and their biggest-evert contingent comprising of over 125 athletes.

Check out the video of the Indian contingent entering the stadium here:

Meanwhile, the background score to which the Parade of Nations is taking place happens to be borrowed from a popular video game in the country. In addition, for the first time in Olympics, a group of athletes walked in for a country named "eSwatini." While the name may sound new, it isn't a new country but one that was recognised with that name until 2018 when it's king changed the name since. The reason is that many people were confusing it with Switzerland.

Coming back to the Indian athletes, major names like PV Sindhu and Manu Bhaker were missing as they opted out of it to focus on their game commencing hours after the curtain-raiser.

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