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The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic cauldron at the end of the opening ceremony on Friday, July 23.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

An overhead view of Osaka lighting the cauldron. The cauldron was designed in the shape of a cherry blossom.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Fireworks go off after Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, makes a speech during the opening ceremony. At left is Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Live performers pose as the triathlon pictogram during the opening ceremony. There are 50 sports taking place this year in the Tokyo Olympics, and all of their pictograms were acted out by the performers.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic flag is carried toward the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japanese jazz composer Hiromi Uehara plays the piano during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

People carry the Olympic flag during the ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Japan's Emperor Naruhito delivers a speech and formally opens the Olympic Games on Friday.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

During one portion of the opening ceremony, there were 1,800 drones flying over the stadium to form a globe in the night sky. As the glowing drones soared over the stadium, performers sang "Imagine" by John Lennon.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Athletes from the United States march during the customary parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Members of the Refugee Olympic Team march during the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Athletes from Team Norway take part in the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Athletes from various nations sit during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic teams from every country watch performers on stage.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Members of Hong Kong's delegation pose for a selfie during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

US athletes hold an American flag during the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Russian athletes pose for a photo during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Athletes from all nations gather inside the stadium after the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Tongan flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua made headlines for going shirtless at the 2016 and 2020 opening ceremonies, and he was at it again in Tokyo. He will be competing in taekwondo.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Team Kazakhstan walks out for the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

French athletes march during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A member of Egypt's delegation enters the stadium during the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

British flag-bearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi lead out the team during the opening ceremony's parade of nations. Sbihi, a rower, made history as Great Britain's first Muslim flag-bearer.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Greece's athletes march into the stadium to kick off the parade of nations.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Dancers take part in the start of the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

People perform during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The Japanese flag is carried during the opening ceremony. After the Japanese National Anthem was sung, a moment of silence was called to remember the global victims of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Performers take part in the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A performer acts during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Jill Biden, the first lady of the United States, takes part in a moment of silence during the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The start of the ceremony reflected the isolated training that many athletes had to do during the pandemic.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A lone performer is seen during the start of the opening ceremony.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Fireworks explode over the stadium as the opening ceremony got underway.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

A volunteer is seen in the mostly empty stadium on Friday. Organizers said only 950 VIPs would be present in a stadium that can seat nearly 70,000 people.

The best photos from the Tokyo Olympics

Fireworks light up the sky on Friday.

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