After a yearlong delay, the Tokyo Olympic games kicked off with a spectacular show featuring a virtually empty stadium.
Athletes from over 200 countries paraded with flags through Olympic Stadium with fewer than 1,000 spectators.
It has proven to be a bittersweet moment for North Texas athletes and their loved ones.
The parents of Mansfield track and field Olympian Jasmine Moore watched the opening ceremony.
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“It wasn’t the same because it wasn’t anybody in the stands,” said mother Trinette Moore. “But you can see the athletes, they still look like they were enjoying themselves.
Vince Poscente, who lives in Dallas with his wife, represented his native Canada in the 1992 Winter Olympics. He too watched the opening ceremony in Tokyo.
“The athletes looked happy because they’re with each other, so I was really relieved to see that,” he said. “But my favorite part was that I had family in the stands. I knew I had mom and dad and my brothers and sisters that were in the stands watching their family member march to the opening ceremony. That ended up being my favorite part of the entire Olympic experience!”
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Family members and spectators are not being allowed to attend the games due to COVID-19.
Texas Christian University track and field Olympian Ronnie Baker’s wife is taking it all in stride.
“We had already actually rented a house in Tokyo that we had to give away or relinquish back to the owner and so we were going to be there,” said Mikaela Baker. “But I’m excited for this. It’s definitely a unique experience that hopefully doesn’t ever have to happen again.”
Baker will join Moore’s parents in Orlando for an NBC Universal watch party for Team USA families.