Naomi Osaka Opens Up About Lighting the Olympic Cauldron, Calling It the “Greatest” Honor

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Naomi Osaka Opens Up About Lighting the Olympic Cauldron, Calling It the “Greatest” Honor
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Naomi Osaka held the Olympic torch and lit the Olympic Cauldron during Friday’s Opening Ceremony, a huge honor that she feels extremely grateful for. Speaking on Instagram, the four-time Grand Slam tennis champion wrote, “Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life. 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.”

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According to NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico (via People), Naomi—who is competing for Japan in women’s singles tennis—will have her first match on Sunday after it was pushed back a day so she could take part in the ceremony.

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This year’s Opening Ceremony had far fewer attendants than years past due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the message was still one of unity. “Today is a moment of hope,” International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said, via CNN. “Yes, it is very different from what all of us had imagined. But let us cherish this moment because finally we are all here together: the athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, living under one roof together in the Olympic Village. This is the unifying power of sport. This is the message of solidarity, the message of peace, and the message of resilience. This gives all of us hope for our further journey together.”

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