Amazing Photos From Tokyo Olympics

Dozens of men and women run across the field in a darkened stadium, keeping their distance from one another. They symbolize all the athletes who have trained in solitude during the pandemic.

The Japanese flag comes into view, borne by a small group of young people and healthcare workers. The national anthem is sung as if in prayer.

The Tokyo Olympics began Friday night the only way they could have, with an occasionally somber opening ceremony acknowledging the ravages of COVID-19 that forced this global sports event to be postponed a year.

With new cases surging throughout Japan and much of the country in a state of emergency, there were no fans and few spectators in the stands, mostly broadcast cameras, officials and reporters watching from the upper deck of Olympic Stadium, a gleaming if largely deserted venue in this city’s fashionable Shinjuku district. Advertisement

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Fireworks erupt during the opening ceremony
Team USA walks with a flag
Performers surround the Olympic rings on stage
A large screen appears over Olympic Stadium
Dancers are framed inside an Olympic ring
People stand on stage alongside the Japanese flag
Dancers carry red streamers onstage
A woman stands atop a platform holding a torch
Team Colombia members leap into the air as their photo is taken
A man runs on a treadmill onstage surrounded by laser lights
Two women recline onstage