Team USA will officially begin their time at the Tokyo Olympics at the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 23. Before that historic event, the country needed to select which two athletes would carry the United States flag into the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
On Wednesday, Team USA announced that Eddy Alvarez and Sue Bird would be awarded the honor of holding the nation’s colors during the Opening Ceremony. The men’s baseball player and women’s basketball star have been fixtures of multiple Olympic teams and will now get the chance to shine in the spotlight.
Alvarez will be the first Cuban-American to be a flag bearer for the United States at the Olympics. His path to the Tokyo Games as a baseball player comes after he previously competed professionally as a speed skater. He represented the United States in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and won the silver medal in the short track 5000 meter relay.
Bird has been a staple of the WNBA and American women’s basketball for nearly the last two decades. At the Tokyo Olympics, the star point guard will have a chance to win her fifth gold medal with Team USA, adding to her collection of golds from Athens, Beijing, London and Rio. This Games will likely be her swan song in international basketball, so earning the title of flag bearer comes at a perfect time.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 21, 2021
Both athletes took to Twitter to give their reactions to being selected to be the flag bearers for Team USA.
“Thank you to everyone that honored me with this privilege! I will wave our colors proudly,” Alvarez wrote.
— Eddy Alvarez (@eddyalvarez90) July 21, 2021
— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) July 21, 2021
It’s difficult to think of two athletes more deserving of the honor to bear the nation’s colors at the Tokyo Olympics. Bird and Alvarez will definitely be players to watch throughout the Games as they compete in their respective sports.
The Opening Ceremony will begin Friday at 8 p.m. local time in Tokyo, and 7 a.m. on the East Coast. NBC will broadcast the event on Friday morning.