Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has lit the flame to finally open the 2020 Olympic Games. After a tumultuous year, the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony officially got under way, albeit a year late. Because of fears of a fifth wave of Covid-19 cases in Japan's capital, it has been touch and go as to whether or not the Summer Games would go ahead. The pandemic has already greatly impacted the event. It now takes place with no fans in attendance and several athletes having to withdraw after testing positive. Japan still hopes the Games will showcase its culture to the world. The Opening Ceremony drew to a close around midnight in Japan with a spectacular fireworks display illuminating Tokyo's night sky.
According to Tokyo 2020 organizers, 950 people attended the opening ceremony. This is in a venue with a capacity of 68,000. Attendees included Japan's Emperor Naruhito, the US First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron. Emperor Naruhito declared the Games officially open. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said: "It is very different from what all of us had imagined, but let us cherish this moment because finally we are all here together. Today is a moment of hope." Naomi Osaka later tweeted about her excitement at lighting the flame. She said it was: "Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honour I will ever have in my life."