IN PICTURES: Opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics took place on Friday in a nearly empty stadium after a year-long pandemic postponement.

The curtailed celebration began with a video showing athletes training at home during the pandemic before fireworks burst into the air above the Olympic Stadium.

Just a few hundred officials and dignitaries were in the stands of the 68,000-seat venue, including French President Emmanuel Macron, US First Lady Jill Biden, and Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, who declared the Games open.

The Olympics have faced opposition in Japan over fears the global gathering of 11,000 athletes could trigger a super-spreader event. The event is taking place under strict virus measures.

Overseas fans are banned for the first time in the history of the Games, and domestic spectators can only watch events at a handful of venues.

Naomi Osaka holds the Olympic torch ahead of lighting the Olympic cauldron.

360 shot of the stadium while fireworks light up the sky.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks during the opening ceremony.

Artists showcase Japan's traditional artform. 

Fireworks illuminate National Stadium.

Tokyo's skyline during the opening ceremony.

Olympic cauldron.

Drones formed the shape of the Olympic emblem. 


More fireworks.