Sue Bird Reacts To Being Chosen As Team USA Olympic Flag Bearer

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TODAY 21 July, 2021 - 10:00am 8 views

When is the opening ceremony for the Olympics 2021?

NBC Olympics will provide unprecedented coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 23, creating a full day of Olympic programming on NBC that culminates in what is always one of the most-watched nights in television with the primetime presentation of the Ceremony. NBC ChicagoWhen Do the Tokyo Olympics Start in 2021?

Bird, 40, has won four gold medals with the women's team dating back to 2004. Alvarez, 31, has played with the Miami Marlins and won a silver medal in speedskating at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Traditionally, one person has typically served as flag bearer in the Olympics, but this year it was changed to two after the International Olympic Committee encouraged one male and one female to represent each nation as a symbol of gender parity. The flag bearers are chosen by their fellow athletes.

Fencer Janice Lee Romary was the first American woman to act as flag bearer in 1968 in Mexico City. Athletes carrying the flags of their countries dates back to the 1908 Games in London. Track and field star Ralph Rose was the first U.S. athlete to serve as flag bearer.

Swimmer Michael Phelps was America’s flag bearer at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. He would go on to win six medals, including five gold, bringing his career total to 28 and making him the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.

The athletes will have a distinctive look at the ceremony. Designed by Ralph Lauren, the uniforms will feature a navy blazer, a striped T-shirt, a flag-printed scarf, slim-fit jeans, a striped belt, a cotton mask and coordinating shoes that feature more red, white and blue. Flag bearers will also be the lone athletes on the team wearing white denim jackets.

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Sue Bird, Eddy Alvarez will serve as Team USA flag bearers

Yahoo Sports 21 July, 2021 - 08:01pm

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

This will mark the first Olympics where both female and male athletes will lead their national teams. In past Games, one individual has served as flag bearer, but the International Olympic Committee's push to increase gender equality led to the change. This also marks the first time that every nation will be sending at least one female and one male athlete. 

Each nation's athlete contingent chooses the flag bearers, and both Bird and Alvarez have amassed sterling credentials. 

Bird, 40, is a basketball legend, a four-time gold medal winner for Team USA and a member of teams dating all the way back to 2004. 

Alvarez, 31, won a silver medal in speed skating's 5000m relay at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He has played for the Miami Marlins, and will be the 135th athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. 

Many of America's best-known Olympic athletes have served as flag bearers. Swimmer Katie Ledecky carried the flag to open the 2016 Olympics, while NBA star Kevin Durant did so to close the Games. Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, Mia Hamm, Dawn Staley, Rulon Gardner, and many others have had the honor of carrying the flag at past Olympics. 

The Opening Ceremony will take place starting at about 8 p.m. Tokyo time, or 7 a.m. Eastern Time in the United States. It will be shown live on NBC, and then replayed in American prime time about 12 hours later.

Traditionally one of the world's great sports spectacles, this year's Opening Ceremony will have a very different look because of COVID-19 restrictions. No fans will be in attendance, and numerous athletes are opting out of marching because of the possibility of infection.  

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee and contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com.

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Sue Bird, Eddy Alvarez to serve as U.S. flag bearers at Olympic opening ceremony

ESPN 21 July, 2021 - 08:01pm

Alvarez, who won a silver medal in speedskating at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and Bird were chosen by a vote of fellow U.S. athletes. They are the first duo to share the honor of leading the delegation into the ceremony after the International Olympic Committee amended its policy last year to allow countries to have two flag bearers, one female and one male.

Bird is the second U.S. women's basketball player to carry the flag, joining current coach Dawn Staley, who did it at the 2004 Games. Those were the first that Bird participated in.

"It's an incredible honor to be selected the flag bearer for Team USA," Bird said in a statement. "I know what that means, because I got to witness Dawn Staley go through it when she was selected in 2004. It's an honor that is bigger than the moment in that you've been selected by your fellow Team USA athletes to represent the entire delegation, and it will last forever."

Bird will be trying to win an unprecedented fifth gold medal with teammate Diana Taurasi, which would give them the most golds in women's basketball history.

Alvarez becomes the first baseball player to carry the flag for the U.S. The sport returned to the Games at the request of Japan after being absent from the previous two Olympics.

He made his major league debut last year with the Miami Marlins but has been in the minors this year. If the U.S. baseball team medals, he would be the only the third American to medal in both the Winter and Summer Games, joining Eddie Egan (boxing and bobsled) and Lauryn Williams (track and field and bobsled).

"Being a first-generation Cuban-American, my story represents the American Dream," Alvarez said in a statement. "My family has sacrificed so much for me to have the opportunity to wave this flag proudly. I am grateful for my time with US Speedskating and USA Baseball, as well as for all of my teammates, and I am humbled to lead Team USA into the Tokyo Olympic Games."

Sue Bird And Eddy Alvarez To Bear Flags For USA At Tokyo Opening Ceremonies

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July 21st, 2021 National, News, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee has announced basketball player Sue Bird and baseball played Eddy Alvarez as flag bearers for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The IOC have allowed countries for the first time this year to use two flag bearers, so long as one is a man and one is a woman.

The USOPC also said on Wednesday that they expect approximately 230 members of the U.S. delegation to march in the opening ceremony. This will be a much smaller number than usual, with over 600 American athletes attending this summer’s Olympic Games.

Sue Bird is one of the most decorated athletes that will represent the USA in Tokyo as is a 4 time Olympic Champion, 4 time World Champion, 4 time WNBA Champion, and 4 time WNBA All-Star. Bird first competed at the Olympics for the USA back in 2004 in Athens, contributing to the country’s gold medal performance, and then returned in 2008, 2012, and 2016 to pull off another 3 victories.

Eddy Alvarez will join Bird as a flag bearer for the Tokyo Olympics as a member of the USA men’s baseball team. With his upcoming Summer Olympics debut, Alvarez becomes the 135th person in history to compete at both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games. Alvarez won a silver medal for the USA at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic in the 5000-meter short-track speed skating relay. Following the 2014 Games, Alvarez was signed to the MLB’s Chicago White Sox and in 2019 was traded to the Miami Marlins. On June 21, 2021, Alvarez was named to his first-ever Summer Olympics roster for baseball.

In the history of the Olympic Games, only 2 swimmers have represented the United States as flag bearers at either the closing or opening ceremonies.

The first swimmer to do so was Gary Hall Sr. at the 1976 Montreal Summer Games. 1976 marked Hall’s third straight Olympic Games for the USA following his debut in 1968 and return in 1972. Hall has already made a name for himself heading into the 1976 Games, having won Olympic silver 8 years prior in the 400 IM, and having broken the 200 butterfly world record in 1974. At Munich 1972 Hall collected another Olympic medal in the 200 butterfly.

Hall carried the flag for the US in 1976 in Montreal where he wrapped up his Olympic career with a bronze medal in the 100 butterfly.

The next American swimmer to serve as an Olympic flag bearer was Michael Phelps in 2016 at his 5th and final Olympic Games. Michael Phelps is regarding as one of the greatest athletes of all time and is the most decorated Olympian in history with 28 Olympic medals including 23 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze.

At the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro when Phelps carried the flag for the USA he won his final 6 Olympic medals in the form of 200 fly, 200 IM, 4×100 free, 4×100 medley, and 4×200 free gold, and 100 butterfly silver.

While no US swimmers were selected as flag bearers for the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremonies, there are so far 18 swimmers worldwide who have been confirmed as flag bearers for their respective countries. The opening ceremonies are scheduled to take place on Friday, July 23.

Ray Looze should be the flag bearer!!! He is an inspiration to all and a true American athletic legend. God bless America and go HOOSIERS!!!!!

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