One of the highlight moments of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games opening ceremonies was the performance of pictograms representing the 50 Olympic disciplines.
The idea of sport pictograms, which have become ubiquitous in the Olympics, actually originated in Tokyo when they hosted the 1964 Olympic Games. For the first Olympics ever hosted in Asia, organizers had to figure out how to conquer the language barrier – the Japanese alphabet being different than the Roman alphabet used at every prior Olympics made this challenge more difficult than for prior Olympics.
While the pictograms often take on a different style for each Olympic Games, they have remained a part of the Olympic Games ever since.
In honor of that history, Tokyo 2020 organizers decided to bring them to life – first by creating the first-ever animated Pictograms, and then by actually having a troupe of actors bring them to life in quite clever ways.
If you missed this part of the opening ceremonies, or just want to watch it again, you can find videos of the performance below, as well as different “creating of the pictograms” videos from the last few years (note: multiple videos of the same performance because of geoblocking)
NBC Video Only Available in the United States
BBC Video available in United Kingdom:
Marca Clara Video available in Mexico: