Tokyo 2021 Olympics Opening Ceremony Highlights & History-Making Moments


The Opening Ceremony for this year's Summer Games commenced on Friday (July 23) in Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.

This year's ceremony featured athletes from around the world parading in a near-empty stadium as fans were not allowed to attend because of rising COVID-19 cases in Japan.

For Team USA, four-time Olympic basketball gold medalist Sue Bird and baseball player Eddy Alvarez were given the honor of carrying the U.S. flag for the opening ceremony. The moment marked the first time the U.S. delegation has ever had two flag-bearers.

Due to restrictions, only a select number of officials and some dignitaries were present for Friday's ceremony. However, the show went on without a hitch as the night featured tons of unforgettable moments, including tennis superstar Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic torch.

Keep scrolling to see the highlights from the 2021 Olympic Games' Opening Ceremony.

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Fireworks light up the sky over the Olympic Stadium.Photo: Getty Images

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Japanese Kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa performs.Photo: Getty Images

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Performers dance during the Opening Ceremony.Photo: Getty Images

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Naomi Osaka carries the Olympic torch.Photo: Getty Images

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An overview shows Osaka lighting the flame of hope in the Olympic Cauldron.Photo: Getty Images

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U.S. First Lady, Jill Biden takes part in a moment of silence.Photo: Getty Images

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A choir performs.Photo: Getty Images

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Fireworks go off around the Olympic Stadium.Photo: Getty Images

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Flag bearers Sue Bird and Eddy Alvares of Team United States take part in the Parade of Nations.Photo: Getty Images

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Olympic super-fan Kyoko Ishikawa (R) who has attended every Summer Olympics in the past 30 years and her husband John Sledge (R) hold American national flags as American athletes appear on TV during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games.Photo: Getty Images

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Japanese jazz composer Hiromi Uehara plays the piano during.Photo: Getty Images

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The Olympic Flame burns after the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.Photo: Getty Images

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President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach speaks.Photo: Getty Images

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Flag bearers Jessica Rossi and Elia Viviani of Team Italy lead their team out.Photo: Getty Images

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Flag bearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi of Team Great Britain lead their team out.Photo: Getty Images

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Flag bearers Hannah Mills and Mohamed Sbihi of Team Great Britain leads their team out.Photo: Getty Images

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Angola's flag bearer Natalia Santos leads the delegation.Photo: Getty Images

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Members of USA's delegation pose as they parade during the opening ceremony.Photo: Getty Images

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A general view inside the stadium.Photo: Getty Images

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The Japan flag is carried on stage.Photo: Getty Images

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Flag bearers Ketleyn Quadros and Bruno Mossa Rezende of Team Brazil lead their team out.Photo: Getty Images

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The Olympic Rings are seen outside the stadium as fireworks go off.Photo: Getty Images


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