Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka lit the 2020 Tokyo Olympics flame. The Games officially started, albeit a year late. A possible fifth wave of Covid-19 has put in doubt whether or not they would go ahead. The pandemic has greatly affected the event. There are no fans and several athletes have withdrawn after testing positive. Japan hopes the Games will showcase its culture to the world. The Opening Ceremony ended at midnight with a spectacular fireworks show.
Only 950 people attended the opening ceremony, in a venue with a capacity of 68,000. Japan's Emperor Naruhito declared the Games officially open. The IOC president said it is different from what we had imagined, but we should "cherish this moment because finally we are all here together". He called the Games "a moment of hope". Naomi Osaka said lighting the flame was: "The greatest athletic achievement and honour I will ever have in my life."