TOKYO — The opening ceremony of the 32nd Summer Olympics unfolded in subdued fashion on Friday night inside a nearly empty Tokyo stadium, inaugurating a Games delayed by a year and diminished in atmosphere by a tenacious pandemic.
东京——周五晚上,第32届夏季奥运会的开幕式在东京几乎空无一人的体育场内低调进行,为这届因持久的疫情而被推迟一年、少了气氛的奥运会拉开了帷幕。
With attendance limited to fewer than 1,000 dignitaries, journalists and other invited guests in an Olympic Stadium built to seat 68,000, the ceremony’s centerpiece — the athletes’ procession — was staged entirely for television.
在可容纳6.8万观众的奥林匹克体育场里,政要、记者和其他受邀嘉宾等现场观众被限制在1000人内,开幕式的核心内容——运动员进场——完全是为了电视转播而安排。
Masked athletes, many in reduced contingents to preserve social distancing, waved at nonexistent fans as they marched in. Dancers in pastel costumes and hats provided the only live encouragement during what is normally an exuberant parade before a wildly cheering audience.
在规模缩水的队伍中,戴着口罩的运动员保持着社交距离,入场时向根本不存在的粉丝挥手。原本这应该是在观众的疯狂欢呼中进行的盛典,但现场唯一的助威者只有穿戴着色彩淡雅的衣帽的舞者。
Just as notable as the missing supporters were the prominent political and business leaders who decided not to attend, worried about being seen as endorsing an event that has lost much of its meaning among a Japanese public exhausted by the pandemic and widely opposed to the Games.
与消失的观众支持同样引人注目的,是那些决定不出席的知名政商界领袖,他们担心自己会被视为在支持一项在日本民众当中已经基本失去意义的赛事。因疫情的缘故,日本民众疲惫不堪,普遍反对奥运会。
Although some competitions started earlier this week, the ceremony on Friday represented the official start of the Olympics, with more than 11,000 athletes from 205 countries expected to participate in 33 sports over the next two weeks.
虽然一些比赛已于本周早些时候开始,但周五的开幕式象征着奥运会的正式揭幕,未来两周,来自205个国家的超过1.1万名运动员将参加33个项目的赛事
与以往充斥着大型舞蹈和沸腾观众的演出相比,今年的开幕式更加低调。
与以往充斥着大型舞蹈和沸腾观众的演出相比,今年的开幕式更加低调。 Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Nearly all of the events, like the opening ceremony, will be held without spectators, and the athletes will compete under strict protocols that limit their movement.
包括开幕式在内,几乎所有的赛事都将在没有观众的情况下举行,运动员也将遵守严格的防疫规定,行动受到限制。
Usually it is the Olympians who face considerable odds, but this time it was also the organizers who waged an uphill battle to get to this moment. What was meant to be a showcase of Japan’s gleaming efficiency, superior service culture and appeal as a tourist destination has instead been swamped by infection fears and host committee scandals.
通常情况下,面临巨大挑战的是奥运会选手,但这一次,组织方为了这一刻的到来也进行了艰苦斗争。这届奥运会本应是对日本优异的效率、卓越的服务文化,以及作为旅游目的地吸引力的展示,结果却被感染病毒的恐惧和东道主奥组委的丑闻所淹没。
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The opening ceremony is often the host nation’s chance to show itself off — think of Beijing’s regimented drummers in 2008 or London’s dancing National Health Service nurses four years later. But the Tokyo organizers put on a simpler show.
开幕式往往是主办国大出风头的机会——想想2008年北京整齐划一的鼓手或是四年后在伦敦跳舞的国民保健署(National Health Service)的医护人员。但东京主办方的演出更为简单。
In a moment of silence, an announcer asked those watching around the world to remember those lost to Covid-19 and the athletes who had died in previous Olympics, including the Israeli athletes killed during a terrorist attack at the Munich Games in 1972.
在默哀时刻,一位报幕员请全世界的观众一起缅怀死于新冠的人,以及在往届奥运会上去世的运动员,包括在1972年慕尼黑奥运会的恐怖袭击中丧生的以色列运动员。
Although it was not explicitly mentioned until the organizers gave their speeches, the ceremony invoked the original framing of Tokyo’s Olympic bid — as a symbol of the country’s recovery from the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011. A sole figure dressed in white and in ghostly makeup danced on a platform in the middle of the field as waves of light coursed around the stadium.
虽然在主办方发言之前没有明确提及,但开幕式重现了东京申奥的最初设想——将奥运会作为2011年日本遭遇大地震、海啸和福岛核事故等灾难后复苏的象征。在环绕体育场的光晕里,一位穿着白色衣服、画着幽灵般妆容的演员在场地中央的舞台上独舞。
And with lighted drones above the stadium forming a giant rotating globe, a rendition of “Imagine” sung on the Jumbotrons by performers like Angélique Kidjo, John Legend and Keith Urban, and confetti doves falling from the sky, the organizers were clearly trying to divert the message of the Games away from the pandemic and scandals and toward the more anodyne themes of peace and global harmony.
体育场上空,发光的无人机组成了一个巨大的旋转地球,安吉丽克·基德霍(Angelique Kidjo)、约翰·传奇(John Legend)和基思·厄本(Keith Urban)等表演者在大屏幕上合唱了《想象》(Imagine),彩纸鸽从天而降,主办方显然试图将奥运会的信息从疫情和丑闻转移到更温情的主题,即世界大同。
But that messaging may have little resonance with the Japanese public, as coronavirus infections in Tokyo have risen to a six-month high and the domestic vaccine rollout has proceeded slowly.
但这一信息恐怕并没有在日本公众中引来多少共鸣,因为东京的新冠感染已经上升到六个月来的最高水平,而国内疫苗的推广却进展缓慢。
In quieter moments throughout the ceremony, protesters outside the stadium could be heard yelling “Stop the Olympics” through bullhorns.
在开幕式较为安静的时刻,可以听到体育场外的抗议者用扩音喇叭高喊“停止奥运会”的口号。
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“I can’t really think of any meaning or significance of why we are doing all this,” said Kaori Hayashi, a professor of sociology and media studies at the University of Tokyo. “We kind of started with the recovery of Fukushima, but that’s completely forgotten. And now we want to show the world that we have overcome Covid-19, but we haven’t overcome it at all yet.”
“我真不知道我们做这些有什么意义或者是重要性,”东京大学(University of Tokyo)社会学和媒体研究教授林香里(Kaori Hayashi)说。“我们似乎是想从福岛的恢复开始,但它完全被人遗忘了。而现在我们想向世界展示我们战胜了新冠,但我们压根没能做到。”
While the pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge to the Games’ organizers, it has been far from the only one.
虽然疫情给了奥运主办方前所未有的挑战,但它远非唯一的困难。
开幕式上的表演者。
开幕式上的表演者。 Alexandra Garcia/The New York Times
Just a day before the opening festivities, the organizing committee dismissed the ceremony’s creative director after it emerged that he had made jokes about the Holocaust years ago during a television comedy skit.
就在开幕式的前一天,奥组委将开幕式创意总监辞退,因为他多年前曾在电视喜剧节目中拿犹太人大屠杀开玩笑。
His firing came just days after a composer for the ceremony resigned — and organizers withdrew a four-minute piece he had written — in response to a vociferous social media campaign criticizing him for severely bullying disabled classmates during his school years.
就在他被解雇的前几天,开幕式一位作曲家才刚刚辞职——主办方撤下了他所写的四分钟乐曲——以回应社交媒体上对他的激烈讨伐,因为他在学生时代曾严重霸凌残疾同学。
These were only the latest scandals in a long line of setbacks. Two years after winning the bid, the government abandoned a sleek stadium design by a famous architect, Zaha Hadid, because of ballooning costs. The organizers had to scrap their first logo after plagiarism accusations. French prosecutors indicted the president of Japan’s Olympic Committee on corruption charges related to the bidding process. Fearing extreme heat in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee moved the marathon to Sapporo, on Japan’s northern island, 500 miles from the Olympic Stadium. And the president of the Tokyo organizing committee was forced to resign after making sexist comments.
而这只是一连串挫折中最新的丑闻。在赢得竞标的两年后,因为无法承担高昂成本,日本政府放弃了由著名建筑师扎哈·哈迪德(Zaha Hadid)设计的流线型体育场方案。在被指控抄袭后,主办方不得不推翻他们的第一个会徽设计。因与申办过程相关的腐败指控,日本奥委会主席遭到法国检方的起诉。国际奥委会(International Olympic Committee)担心东京的高温天气,将马拉松比赛地点移到了札幌,这一日本北部岛屿距离奥林匹克体育场有500英里远。而东京奥组委主席也在发表性别歧视言论后被迫辞职
Still, now that the Games have finally arrived, the sheer spectacle of the world’s largest sporting event started to push those issues aside.
不管怎样,奥运会还是终于到来,这一世界上最大的体育赛事仅凭其蔚为壮观就足以将这些问题搁置一旁。
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The night before the opening ceremony, Aya Kitamura, 37, a traditional Japanese musician, biked to the Olympic Stadium to stake out the best viewing spot from outside the venue.
在开幕式前夜,37岁的日本传统音乐家北村绫(Aya Kitamura,音)骑着自行车来到奥林匹克体育场,在场馆外寻找最佳观赏点。
“Of course, I understand that there are many opinions about the Olympics,” said Ms. Kitamura, who said her parents had often told stories about watching the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. “But as the Games get closer, I think everyone is getting a little more excited day by day.”
“当然,我知道人们对奥运会有很多意见,”北村绫说,她的父母经常跟她讲他们观看1964年东京奥运会的事情。“但随着奥运会越来越近,我想大家还是一天比一天兴奋了。”
The near absence of spectators disappointed some who said they did not understand why the Olympics were different from other recent sporting events attended by large crowds in Europe, where infection rates remain higher than in Japan.
一些人对于几乎没有现场观众感到失望,他们说不明白为什么奥运会跟最近欧洲有大量观众参与的其他体育赛事不一样,欧洲的感染率还高于日本。
“It’s kind of unfair that only a limited amount of people are getting to watch the opening ceremony,” said Hinako Tamai, 19, an Olympic volunteer who was helping to guide the media into the stadium on Friday night. “But because of Covid, there’s not much we can do.”
“能观看开幕式的人数有限,这有点不公平,”19岁的玉井彼奈子(Hinako Tamai,音)说,作为奥运志愿者,她在周五晚上要帮助引导媒体进入场馆。“但因为新冠,我们也无能为力。”
Among the several hundred people who sat in the $1.4 billion Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony on Friday were Japan’s emperor, Naruhito, who officially opened the Games; the American first lady, Jill Biden; President Emmanuel Macron of France, whose capital city, Paris, will host the next Summer Games, in 2024; and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization.
周五,在耗资14亿美元的奥林匹克体育场举行的开幕式上,数百名就坐观众之中包括日本德仁天皇,他是宣布奥运会正式开始的人;美国第一夫人吉尔·拜登(Jill Biden);法国总统埃马纽埃尔·马克龙(Emmanuel Macron),法国首都巴黎将于2024年举办下一届夏季奥运会;以及世界卫生组织(World Health Organization)总干事谭德塞(Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus)
开幕式上飘扬的日本国旗。民意调查显示,大多数日本民众都认为不应该举办奥运会。
开幕式上飘扬的日本国旗。民意调查显示,大多数日本民众都认为不应该举办奥运会。 Doug Mills/The New York Times
But several high-profile prospective attendees declared that they would not be present, including Akio Toyoda, the chief executive of Toyota, a prominent Olympics sponsor that had decided against running Olympics-themed television advertisements in Japan. Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister who helped Tokyo secure the bid for the Games, also decided to stay away.
但多位预计到场的知名人士都宣布不会出席,包括丰田(Toyota)的首席执行官丰田章男(Akio Toyoda),这一著名奥运会赞助商决定不在日本播放奥运主题的电视广告。帮助东京成功申办奥运会的前首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)也选择保持距离。
Several overseas dignitaries, including Princess Anne of England and the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, decided not to come, citing coronavirus restrictions. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea canceled a planned visit after being insulted by a Japanese diplomat.
包括英国的安妮公主(Princess Anne)和联合国秘书长安东尼奥·古特雷斯(António Guterres)在内的多名海外政要也以新冠病毒限制为由缺席。韩国总统文在寅在被一名日本外交官羞辱后取消了原定的访问。
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Even if the Olympics avoid becoming a superspreader event, it will be difficult for it to escape the shadow of the pandemic as the Delta variant spreads and daily tallies of new cases in the Olympic Village magnify anxiety.
即使奥运不会成为超级传播事件,它也难以摆脱疫情的阴影,因为Delta变种毒株正在扩散,奥运村每日统计的新病例也加剧了人们的焦虑。
“I really feel like the pandemic, no matter what, leaves the impression of prioritizing money over public health,” said Jessamyn R. Abel, associate professor of Asian studies at Pennsylvania State University.
“我真觉得这场疫情无论如何都会给人留下政府把利益置于公众健康之上的印象,”宾夕法尼亚州立大学(Pennsylvania State University)的亚洲问题研究副教授杰萨明·R·阿贝尔(Jessamyn R. Abel)说。
While the decision to push ahead with the Games amid a pandemic has focused attention on the billions of dollars at stake for the International Olympic Committee, the scrutiny of the international spotlight has also been harsh for Japan at times.
虽然疫情期间继续举办奥运会的决定重点在于国际奥委会可能面临的数十亿美元损失,但国际目光对日本的审视有时可能相当严苛。
The yearlong delay has exposed social problems like sexism in a country where nearly all the top jobs are filled by older men, as well as resistance by the conservative government to rights for gay and transgender people.
长达一年的延迟暴露了一些社会问题,比如在这个几乎所有高层职位都由年长男性担任的国家存在的性别歧视,以及保守派政府对同性恋和跨性别人士权利的抗拒。
But in one respect, the organizers seemed to have embraced a more modern outlook.
但在另一个层面上,主办方似乎也接受了更现代的观念。
Marching into the stadium as the flag bearers for Japan were Rui Hachimura, the mixed-race basketball star who plays for the Washington Wizards, and Yui Susaki, a female wrestler. Mr. Hachimura is just one of several mixed-race athletes — Naomi Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron, being the most prominent — who are representing a largely homogeneous Japan at the Olympics.
作为日本旗手走进体育场的运动员是效力于华盛顿奇才队(Washington Wizards)的混血篮球明星八村塁(Rui Hachimura),以及女子摔跤选手须崎优衣(Yui Susaki)。奥运会日本代表队大多是同一种族,八村是极少数混血运动员之一,同时还有点燃奥运圣火的大坂直美(Naomi Osaka),她是其中最著名的一位。
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Still, the fanfare can go only so far with a wary public. Kentaro Tanaka, 28, a consultant in Tokyo who was walking his dog near the Olympic Stadium the night before the opening, said he liked soccer and planned to watch the matches but questioned the authorities’ priorities.
不过,在敏感的公众面前,奥运会带来的兴奋有限。28岁的田中健太郎(Kentaro Tanaka,音)在东京从事顾问工作,在开幕式前一晚,他来到奥林匹克体育场附近遛狗,他说自己喜欢足球,也准备观看赛事,但他对当局的优先事项表示质疑。
“Isn’t there some other stuff the government has to work on?” Mr. Tanaka said, before wondering aloud when he might finally be able to get a vaccination appointment.
“政府难道没有其他工作要做吗?”田中说道,然后他说出了内心的疑惑——自己到底什么时候才可以预约接种疫苗。