Naomi Osaka Ignites the Olympic Flame in Classic Nikes to Open the 2020 Summer Olympics

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The 2020 Summer Olympics officially kicked off today in Tokyo, and albeit a year late due to the global pandemic, the festivities still honored the tradition of the historic games.

Tennis pro and Japanese native Naomi Osaka had the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch during today’s opening ceremonies and lighting the Olympic flame to mark the start of the games. For her grand moment, the 23-year-old took center stage in Japan’s official uniform for the event — a white shirt and coordinating shorts striped with red in an homage to the country’s flag.

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Naomi Osaka carries the Olympic Torch during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. - Credit: AP
Naomi Osaka carries the Olympic Torch during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. - Credit: AP

AP

A closer view of Naomi Osaka’s sneakers. - Credit: AP
A closer view of Naomi Osaka’s sneakers. - Credit: AP

AP

On her feet, the Nike athlete appeared to tap the Swoosh brand’s signature Air Force 1 sneakers.

The silhouette first hit shelves in the 1980s and has since become a cultural icon and must-have footwear style for Gen-Z and above; from “Stranger Things” actress Millie Bobby Brown to TikTok star Addison Rae, these affordable and easy-going sneakers can be found in a variety of street-style inspired looks from the younger generation.

Similar Nike Air Force ’07 sneakers retail for $90 on the brand’s website.

Naomi Osaka carries the Olympic Torch during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. - Credit: AP
Naomi Osaka carries the Olympic Torch during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. - Credit: AP

AP

A closer view of Naomi Osaka’s sneakers. - Credit: AP
A closer view of Naomi Osaka’s sneakers. - Credit: AP

AP

Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. - Credit: AP
Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. - Credit: AP

AP

Beyond her multiple championships, Naomi Osaka has partnered with Nike for a selection of apparel and footwear collections as well as to launch Play Academy with Naomi Osaka — a girls-only sports program in partnership with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good. The program aims to level the playing field by changing the game for girls, according to Osaka in an op-ed.

At just 23 years old, Osaka is also officially the highest-paid athlete in the world with 2020 earnings of $55 million, according to Sportico. Osaka also recently joined Louis Vuitton as a house ambassador for the French brand, starring in the brand’s spring ’21 campaign.

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