Source: Johnny Louis/WENN.com / WENN
Naomi Osaka helped kick off the opening ceremony in Tokyo, Japan for the 2021 Olympics last night (July 23) by lighting the Olympic Cauldron. After carrying the Olympic torch, she gushed about the experience on Instagram.
“Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life,” she wrote. “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.”
She added in the caption of another post that she was “still trying to wrap my head around what just happened.”
Osaka will have her first match in the women’s singles tennis games on July 25, 2021 10 p.m. EST.
Before having the privilege of lighting the Olympic Cauldron, Osaka was raking up win after win. The four-time Grand slam winner made history when she became the first Haitian and Japanese woman to cover Sports Illustrated for their swimsuit issue. She also won an ESPY award for Best Athlete in Women’s Sports earlier this month.
“I just really want to not say a long speech because I’m a bit nervous … I know this year has been really, it hasn’t even finished, but it’s been really tough for a lot of us,” Osaka said during her acceptance speech. “For me, I just want to say, I really love you guys and this is my first ESPYS so it’s really cool to be surrounded by all these incredible athletes. I think all of you guys are really cool and I watch some of you on TV so it’s really surreal to be here … Thank you so much.”
The 23-year-old champion also recently announced that she and Netflix partnered up to release a selt-titled documentary about her rise to stardom. The cameras began to follow Osaka after her 2018 U.S Open victory against her idol, Serena Williams.