Nearly 2,000 drones form stunning revolving globe in sky during Olympics' Opening Ceremony

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As international singers performed John Lennon's "Imagine," the athletes of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were treated to a stunning drone show that resulted in a revolving globe in the sky. 

It was one of the best moments of the Opening Ceremony, which officially kicked off the rescheduled competition on Friday. As more than 11,000 athletes from 206 countries looked skyward, 1,824 drones lit up to form the Tokyo 2020 emblem. And within a few minutes the drones had turned into a revolving globe. 

Images from inside the stadium show how large and how close the globe felt for the athletes and volunteers on the ground. 

Drone Globe at 2020 Olympics.
Athletes and volunteers watch a drones flying to form a globe in the sky over the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo, on July 23, 2021. (Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP via Getty Images)

[How to watch Tokyo Opening Ceremony in prime time]

Selina Wang of CNN caught a small part of the transformation outside of the arena. It took place slightly above the topmost section and outside the actual arena. 

The theme of the Games this year is "United by Emotion" and is meant to reflect the unifying power of sports. The drone globe was a never-before-seen visual display that was raved about on social media Friday morning. 

The ceremony included interesting fashion choices that ranged from hits to complete misses and love-or-hate pictograms come to life with dancers portraying each of the 50 disciplines at the Games. 

The Olympics officially began with Naomi Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam tennis champion, lighting the Olympic cauldron. The Games run through Aug. 8, when the flame will be extinguished. 

Best of Tokyo Opening Ceremony slideshow embed
Best of Tokyo Opening Ceremony slideshow embed

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