“Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life ...”
Naomi Osaka on lighting the Olympic Cauldron at the Tokyo 2020 Games Opening Ceremony.
jul 23, 2021
- On Friday night, the world's second-ranked tennis player Naomi Osaka served as the final torch-bearer in the Olympic Torch Relay, lighting the Olympic cauldron during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
- Women were not included among Olympic torch-bearers until the Games in Munich, Germany (1972).
- Osaka is 23 years old; her father is Haitian, her mother is Japanese.
- Osaka was born in Japan and moved to the United States when she was three years old, holding dual citizenship in both countries. However, Osaka renounced her U.S. citizenship in order to represent Japan at her first Olympic Games.
- Japanese law requires that if you hold dual-citizenship, you must chose which nation you will be a citizen of by the time you reach the age of 22.
Why It Matters: The person who serves as the final torch-bearer at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony remains a mystery until the final moments, however, the Olympic Museum notes that the significance of Olympic torch-bearers, "particularly, the last (who lights the cauldron in the stadium during the Games Opening Ceremony) are chosen for the special relationship they enjoy with the host country. They all carry very strong messages ..."
Click HERE to watch Osaka light the cauldron at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.