Amid several controversies and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Olympic Games opened on Friday night, July 23, in Tokyo, Japan after a year of postponement.

The Summer Games was also meant to show the extent of Japan’s recovery after the earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people and triggered a nuclear meltdown in Fukushima 10 years ago.

“After more than half a century, the Olympic Games have returned to Tokyo. Now, we will do everything in our power to make these games a source of pride for generations to come,” said Seiko Hashimoto, chief of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee.

Fans were not allowed in the 68,000-capacity National Stadium in Tokyo due to the Covid-19 disease, with former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also missing the ceremony among other leaders.

The organizers reported 110 Covid-19 cases in Tokyo linked to the Olympics.

Indigo and white fireworks filled the sky during the opening ceremony, followed by dance performances, the assembly of the wooden Olympic rings, and the Parade of Nations of 204 participating countries and a team of refugee athletes playing under the Olympic flag.

Two medical workers and six young students from northeastern coast prefectures hit by the 2011 disasters also got to run for the Olympic flame, while Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron.

The Olympic Games will end on Aug. 8. Jelo Ritzhie Mantaring