PREVIEW: US Olympics team gathers together with the competing nations at Opening Ceremony

image of olympic flame

The Olympic Flame burns after the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, at the Olympic Stadium, in Tokyo, on July 23, 2021. (Photo by Franck FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

TOKYO, Jap. (KFOR) – Friday night on KFOR, NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. CST as the competing nations celebrate the official start to the games.

After a year-long postponement, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games are officially in full swing.

With the lighting of the torch by tennis star Naomi Osaka, the ceremony took off in the early hours of Friday morning, Oklahoma time.

Inspired by the sun, the Tokyo Olympic cauldron is designed to be better for the planet.

The flame at Tokyo’s National Stadium and another cauldron burning along the waterfront near Tokyo Bay throughout the games will be sustained in part by hydrogen, the first time the fuel source will be used to power an Olympic fire.

The first torch for these games was lit in Olympia, Greece, 16 months ago, but the relay was suspended for much of 2020 due to the pandemic.

Team USA was led by four-time Olympic gold medalist and basketball player Sue Bird alongside her fellow flag bearer baseball player and winter Olympic speed skating silver medalist Eddie Alvarez.

Bird says she remembers 2004 when the U.S. women’s basketball team got to walk at the front of the delegation along with flag bearer Dawn Staley, now the U.S. head coach in Tokyo.

With over 600 athletes in the games, the US brought its second-largest team in history but only 200 chose to walk in the ceremony.

Watch NBC’s Opening Ceremony coverage Friday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. on KFOR.

This broadcast will include special coverage of Team USA and athlete interviews not seen in the live show that was aired on Friday morning.

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