Yoko Ono reacts to “Imagine” being used in Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

Yoko Ono has reacted to her and John Lennon’s classic, “Imagine”, being used during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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The ceremony, which was held last Friday (23 July), marked the official opening of Tokyo 2020, a year later than planned, after it was postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Held at Tokyo’s new Olympic Stadium, socially distanced and masked athletes walked out and waved to empty stands – something acknowledged by Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).


“Yes, it is very different from what all of us had imagined,” he said during the ceremony. “But let us cherish this moment because finally we are all here together.”

After the athlete parade, a number of drones formed a globe above the stadium, after which John Legend and Keith Urban joined Spanish performer Alejandro Sanz, Beninese singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo and the Suginami Children’s Choir for a moving virtual rendition of Lennon and Ono’s “Imagine”. You can watch a snippet below.

Following the performance, Ono took to Twitter to react and share her thoughts on what “Imagine” embodied to her and Lennon.

“IMAGINE. John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other,” she wrote. “The song ‘Imagine’ embodied what we believed together at the time. John and I met – he comes from the West and I come from the East – and still we are together.”


Take a look at Ono’s tweet below:

Meanwhile, the mini-documentary about John Lennon and Yoko Ono, titled 24 Hours: The World Of John And Yoko, is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video US.

The 30-minute film is available to watch in full for the first time since its initial release on the BBC back in 1969 through the Coda Collection on Amazon.