Naomi Osaka lights cauldron to open 2020 Tokyo Olympics

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Naomi Osaka, four-time Grand Slam tennis champion, had the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

The torch always finishes its long journey in the Opening Ceremony venue, being carried around the stadium by notable athletes or other figures from the host country. Those athletes are a closely guarded secret until the ceremony actually happens, so Osaka's presence was a huge surprise.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

There might not have been anyone better to have the great honor of lighting the cauldron. Osaka is one of tennis' brightest stars, and at just 23 years old, she's still on the rise. Born in Japan and raised in the United States, Osaka is playing tennis for Japan in the Olympics, and she's a gold medal favorite. 

[How to watch Tokyo Opening Ceremony in prime time]

After the ceremony, Osaka tweeted about how honored she felt to have been chosen to light the cauldron.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
Best of Tokyo Opening Ceremony slideshow embed
Best of Tokyo Opening Ceremony slideshow embed

Who else carried the torch?

The torch entered the stadium being carried by Olympic champions Nomura Tadahiro (judo) and Yoshida Saori (wrestling). From there, it was time for Japan's long history and love of baseball to take center stage. Hideki Matsui, former New York Yankees player who spent nine years playing for the Yomiuri Giants before playing in the U.S., accompanied Japanese legends Shigeo Nagashima and Oh Sadaharu, who holds the world lifetime home run record with 868 over his 21-year career. 

The baseball players handed the torch off to two first responders, who gave it to Tsuchida Wakako, a women's wheelchair marathoner who was the first Japanese athlete to win medals at the Summer and Winter Paralympics. 

A group of middle school athletes then carried the torch to Osaka, who lit the cauldron that will keep burning until the closing ceremony in two weeks. 

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

More Olympics coverage from Yahoo Sports: