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Fireworks explode as performers form the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)
Tokyo 2020 Olympics

In Pictures: Tokyo 2020 Olympics open after one-year delay

Largest-ever Games press on without spectators despite COVID concerns

KEN KOBAYASHI, Nikkei Asia photo editor | Japan

TOKYO -- The Tokyo Olympics officially opened on the evening of July 23, after a year of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite various restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the virus and lingering public concerns, a record 11,090 athletes from more than 200 countries and regions are taking part in an Olympiad unlike any in history.

Most of the 33 events -- the largest number ever -- will be held without spectators. Here is a look back at the opening day.

(Photo by Suzu Takahashi)

The Olympic clock in Tokyo counts down to the opening ceremony on July 23.

(Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

Police officers stand guard around the National Stadium.

(Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

People take photos in front of banners for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

 (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

People walk across the Shibuya scramble crossing in Tokyo.

The Blue Impulse, the aerobatic demonstration team of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, performed a flyover during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

(Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

Empty seats dot the Olympic Stadium as part of COVID-19 precautions.

(Photo by Kai Fujii)

Fireworks rise above Tokyo's National Stadium during the opening ceremony.

(Photo by Yuki Kohara) 

People take photos in front of the Tokyo Olympics countdown clock at Tokyo station.

(Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara) 

Performers spread across a stage during the opening ceremony.

Japan's Emperor Naruhito, center right, IOC President Thomas Bach, center left, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, second from right, attend the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 23. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

Dignitaries including IOC President Thomas Bach, Japan's Emperor Naruhito, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike watch the opening ceremony.

(Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

A performer runs on a treadmill during the opening ceremony.

(Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

Singer-songwriter Misia performs the Japanese national anthem.

(Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto) 

Tap dancers dressed as carpenters perform during the opening ceremony.

  © Reuters

Protesters face off with police officers outside the stadium.

  © Reuters

A Japanese family watches the opening ceremony at home.

Drones fly over the stadium and spin as the Earth.

 (Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

The Refugee Olympic team makes its entrance into the stadium.

  © Reuters

The Indonesian delegation joins the procession of nations.

(Photo by Rie Ishii) 

Athletes from Hong Kong take part in the opening ceremony.

Athlete from Myanmar    © Kyodo

Athletes from Myanmar join the procession of nations.

  © Reuters

China's delegation is its biggest ever for an Olympics outside the country.

(Photo by Rie Ishii)

The U.S. Olympic squad numbers 558 athletes.

(Photo by Rie Ishii)

The largest-ever Japanese delegation represents the host nation.

  © Reuters

Athletes converge at the opening ceremony around the official Olympic motto.

(Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

Performers enact themes of the Olympics during the opening ceremony.

  © Reuters

Tennis star Naomi Osaka of Japan holds the Olympic torch at the stadium.

Naomi Osaka of Japan lights the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony in Tokyo on July 23. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

The Olympic cauldron is lit by Naomi Osaka during the opening ceremony.

(Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

The Olympic cauldron signifies the Games are officially underway.

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