The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics commenced on Friday in a nearly empty stadium after a year-long pandemic postponement and a build-up marred by scandal and controversy.
A video showing athletes training at home during the coronavirus pandemic started the show, with pink fireworks bursting into the air after a countdown.
The ceremony in the 68,000-capacity stadium is taking place before just a few hundred officials and dignitaries, including Japan’s Emperor Naruhito, French President Emmanuel Macron and US First Lady Jill Biden.
The Olympics have faced opposition in Japan over fears the global gathering of 11,000 athletes could trigger a super-spreader event.
Organisers have put strict virus measures in place, banning overseas fans for the first time ever, and keeping domestic spectators out of all but a handful of venues.
Athletes, support staff and media are subject to strict Covid-19 protocols, including regular testing and daily health checks.