24th July, 2021
Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka has said that lighting the Olympics cauldron during the opening ceremony, is the greatest honour in her career.
Osaka was supposed to have played the first tennis match of the Tokyo Olympics on centre court on Saturday but the match was pushed back.
It turned out that the 23-year-old winner of four grand slam titles was chosen for the biggest honour of completing the torch relay.
While the stadium was empty, billions watched her via television as she lit the cauldron.
“Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honour I will ever have in my life”, she wrote on Instagram.
“I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness.
“Love you guys, thank you”.
Takayuki Hioki, the executive producer of the opening ceremony said Naomi Osaka was chosen as the final torchbearer to deliver a message of diversity and inclusion.
“In the end, we decided on her because she is a great athlete and she has been delivering a variety of messages. So we thought she was the best person to be the final torchbearer.
“It was a decision that the whole Organising committee came to.”