Finally, after a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics kicked off Friday with a muted opening ceremony that ended with tennis star Naomi Osaka lighting the cauldron.
The games, originally supposed to take place in 2020, were sidelined as much of the world adjusted to life after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now the fanfare and majesty usually reserved for the Olympic Games and their opening ceremony were forced to be muted as Tokyo is under a state of emergency due to rising COVID-19 numbers.
The ceremony opened with an introduction that focused on the past year athletes spent training in partial or complete isolation, featuring performers running on treadmills and riding stationary bikes in the middle of the vast and empty Japan National Stadium.
Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh and former World Series champion Hideki Matsui helped carry the Olympic torch for the final steps on its journey to lighting the cauldron. It ultimately ended up in the hands of Osaka, who got the honor of lighting the cauldron.