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(CNN) — With no fans in attendance and a reduced number of athletes joining the parade, the Tokyo Olympics‘ Opening Ceremony officially kicked off the Summer Games on Friday as tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the cauldron.

Earlier on Friday, a request from Tokyo 2020 organizers to push back Osaka’s opening match of the Olympics from Saturday to Sunday was granted ahead of the opening ceremony, fueling speculation that the four-time grand slam champion, who is making her Olympic debut on home soil, might light the cauldron.

The daughter of a Japanese mother and Haitian-American father, Osaka was born in Japan but moved to the US when she was three years old.

Earlier this month, citing her mental health, Osaka withdrew from the French Open, revealing afterward that she had “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first grand slam title in 2018. She later also withdrew from Wimbledon.

The ceremony drew to a close around midnight in Japan as a spectacular firework display illuminated the Tokyo night sky.

The surreal circumstances of the Games’ curtain-raiser — unlike any other previous opening ceremony — provided a glimpse of what is to come over the next 16 days with the coronavirus pandemic set to loom large over proceedings.

While opening ceremonies of the Olympics are usually staged in front of packed stands, spectators were kept away in Tokyo. Instead, many lined the fences around the city’s National Stadium throughout the day, while others gathered outside the venue to protest.

According to Tokyo 2020 organizers, 950 people attended the opening ceremony — only a handful in a venue with a capacity of 68,000 — as the 206 delegations competing were officially welcomed to the Games. US First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron attended the event.

With athletes expected to arrive in the Olympic Village five days prior to their competition and depart a maximum of two days after, fewer took part in the parade of nations compared to previous Olympics.

Team USA, for example, had more than 200 athletes walking through the stadium out of a team that is over 600 strong, while 63 of Australia’s 472 athletes took part.

“I think it’s unfortunate,” American triple jumper Will Claye told reporters about some athletes not being able to attend the opening ceremony due to restrictions.

“My first Olympics in 2012, I walked and I was able to meet and take pictures with some of my idols in sport, some of the athletes that I look up to like Kobe (Bryant), LeBron (James) and actually being able to spend time with these people while we were preparing to do Opening Ceremonies,” said Claye, referring to the NBA greats.

“And those are the memories that last a lifetime … For someone who this may be their first Olympics, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You never know if you’ll be able to get back to that stage.