It is very rare to see an athlete who is participating in the Olympic games, light the Cauldron, but everyone agrees that the exception had to be Naomi Osaka.
She represented Japan, wearing crimson red and white, representing those colors in her braids.
According to the Olympics.com – Tennis star Naomi Osaka of Japan had the distinct honour of serving as the final torchbearer of the Olympic Torch Relay, lighting the cauldron inside Olympic Stadium for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2021.
Osaka, 23, is a four-time major champion in tennis who is making her Olympic debut. She won her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier in 2021.
Her lighting of the cauldron served as one of the final moments of a moving Opening Ceremony, leading the way with hope for the world and furthering the “Stronger Together” message that has been embraced by these Games.
The lighting of the cauldron marked the final step of a long journey for the Olympic Torch Relay, which began on 25 March 2021. The torch is designed in the shape of a cherry blossom, a symbol close to the hearts of the Japanese people.
The torch entered into Olympic stadium, carried by Olympic champions Nomura Tadahiro (judo) and Yoshida Saori (wrestling) and was handed off to Japanese baseball legends Hideki Matsui, Shigeo Nagashima and Oh Sadaharu.
It was then a pair of first responders took the flame, passing it along to Tsuchida Wakako, a seven-time Paralympian. Tsuchida handed the torch on to a group of Japanese youth before passing the torch along to Osaka.
Watching Naomi light the Cauldon was nothing short of a moment!