Summer Sports

Subdued Olympic opening ceremony still provides inspiring moments

Tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron and Japan's Emperor Naruhito officially declared Tokyo 2020 open — and the Games, delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, are now underway.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka lit Olympic cauldron to begin pandemic-delayed Games

Tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron and Japan's Emperor Naruhito officially declared Tokyo 2020 open — and the Games, delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, are now underway. (Hannah McKay - Pool/Getty Images)

Undeniably the Olympic opening ceremony was going to be like no other.

A reminder and reflection of the global pandemic that continues as the Games officially begin.

But despite protests, smaller athlete groups and a stadium that lacked spectators, the ceremony still provided compelling moments we have come to expect from the event. 

Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron and Japan's Emperor Naruhito officially declared the Olympic Games open.

Although it might have been one of the smallest groups of Canadian athletes to ever walk into an Olympics opening ceremony, Team Canada — led by Miranda Ayim and Nathan Hirayama — still inspired the nation.

There were also several memorable opening ceremony entrances.

The Olympic opening ceremony has featured some unforgettable musical performances in the past. Tokyo 2020 was no different.

Angelique Kidjo, Alejandro Sanz, John Legend and Keith Urban joined the Suginami Junior Chorus in the singing of 'Imagine' as 1,824 drones formed a rotating Earth above the national stadium.

WATCH | International performers sing a reworked version of John Lennon's Imagine:

CBC's live online coverage of the opening ceremony was streamed in eight Indigenous languages.

As the opening ceremony took place, protesters gathered outside of the Tokyo Olympic stadium.

PHOTO GALLERY | Tokyo 2020 kicks off with opening ceremony:

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