Naomi Osaka made history Friday night in Tokyo becoming the first tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron.
“Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life,” she wrote on social media. “I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness ❤️ love you guys thank you.”
The 23-year-old Osaka was a late-minute selection for the honor, so late that the event had to re-arrange the opening day schedule moving her from first match on Centre Court Saturday to Sunday to allow her extra time after the occasion.
Osaka, a 4-time Slam champion, has been the center of controversy in the women’s game for her refusal to speak to press at the French Open and then withdrawing from the French and then the entire grass season.
Sunday will be Osaka’s first match since the French Open. She’ll open against Zheng Saisai of China.
Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life. I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness ❤️ love you guys thank you. pic.twitter.com/CacWQ5ToUD
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) July 23, 2021
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