Tokyo Olympics 2021 opening ceremony: order and flag bearers by country
Tokyo Olympics officially start on July 23 with the traditional Opening Ceremony, but this time with several changes to be seen: empty stadium, restrictions and gender equality.
The Tokyo Olympics will officially start Friday, July 23 with the traditional Opening Ceremony a year after having been canceled due to the global pandemic. While the International Olympic Committee establishes a very strict format for these sports events, the empty stadium, as well as the implementation of two representatives per nation will differentiate this year’s proceedings in Tokyo.
Opening Ceremony: When and Where?
The Opening Ceremony, which is meant to last four hours, will be held at 7:00 a.m. ET. Friday, July 23. The event will take place at the new National Stadium in Tokyo, which opened last year and will also be hosting several sports such as soccer and the track and field competition. Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of the East Coast.
How to watch the Opening Ceremonies on television?
NBC will be airing the event live beginning on 6:55 a.m ET, July 23. However, for those who missed the ceremonies, NBC will also tape delay at 7:30 p.m. ET on the same day.
A journey through time
Each Opening Ceremony has a theme selected by the host country. During the "Parade of Nations", the host country's goal is to represent their cultural identity and to show the world their place in society.
Ceremonies have been around since The greek Ancient Games, from ca. 776 BC to ca. 393 AD. But it wasn’t until approximately the 77th Olympiad that they established a standard 18-event program and an Inauguration festival to celebrate the start of the Games. This festival was followed by a ceremony where athletes took an oath to sportsmanship, to end with an artistic competition of trumpeters and heralds.
However, it wasn’t until the Stockholm Games in 1912 when the artistic version of the opening ceremonies that we are most familiar with, was first implemented by Coubertin.
The International Olympic Committee says tradition dictates that the parade should be in alphabetical order, according to the host country’s language, with the exception of Greece, which since 1928 opens the parade due to historical reasons, and the host country which will bring up the gear.
Since the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, opening ceremonies continue to increase in many ways such as scale, complexity and expense. This growth is reflected in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics where for the first time we will see an opening ceremony staged across two stadiums.
Another very important change is the fact that starting with Tokyo 2021 we will see for the first time two flag bearers representing both genders. This decision was made by the Olympic Committee to fight against gender inequalities. The IOC has always worked towards gender equality. In 1900, 22 women were seen for the first time participating in the Olympics, 118 years after, the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires became the first fully gender-balanced Olympic event in history.
Opening Ceremony: Safety Restrictions
A year after having been canceled because of the global pandemic, Olympic Games return, but still with strict restrictions due to increasing cases in the host country. No fans will be allowed at the Olympic events nor at the opening and closing ceremonies this year, an aspect that will drastically change the atmosphere of all the events not only for competitors but also for those who watch it from their homes.
Sponsors first officials which are usually seen in the Olympic’s opening will not be attending this year’s ceremony either. The companies cited the no-attendance policy at most of the Games’ venues and the need to prevent their executives from contracting the novel coronavirus. Even Japan’s three major business groups have also decided to skip the Opening Ceremony.
Officials revealed that just 950 people were expected to attend. Among whom will be officials, journalists, performers and athletes taking part of the Olympic Games.
Even if athletes are not obligated to take the vaccine, IOC has tried to persuade all countries to get their athletes vaccinated in solidarity with the host country. Around 80% of attendants have already been vaccinated.
Who are the U.S. flag bearers?
The US team will be the third-to-last parade to enter the stadium, two spots before Japan. This positioning reminds spectators that US will be hosting 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. France, which will be host nation for the Olympic Games in 2024 will enter behind the US, a spot ahead of Japan.
American flag bearers will be women representative Sue Bird (women’s basketball) and Men’s representative Eddy Alvarez (baseball, though he won a silver medal in short-track speedskating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics).
Bird and Alvarez will be wearing Ralph Lauren outfits which include a self-regulating cooling system designed by the brand. Summer temperatures in Tokyo often reach 90 °F.
List of Official Flagbearers at Olympic 2021 Opening ceremony
|1||Greece (GRE)||Anna Korakaki, Eleftherios Petrounias||Shooting, Gymnastics|
|2||Refugee Olympic Team (EOR)||Sofya Velikaya, Maksim Mikhaylov||lFencing, Volleyball|
|3||Iceland (ISL)||Snæfríður Jórunnardóttir, Anton Sveinn McKee||Swimming|
|4||Ireland (IRL)||Kellie Harrington, Brendan Irvine||Boxing|
|5||Azerbaijan (AZE)||Farida Azizova, Rüstəm Orucov||Taekwondo, Judo|
|7||United Arab Emirates (UAE)|
|8||Algeria (ALG)||Amel Melih, Mohamed Flissi||Swimming, Boxing|
|9||Argentina (ARG)||Cecilia Carranza, Santiago Lange||Sailing|
|10||Aruba (ARU)||Philip Elhage||Shooting|
|12||Armenia (ARM)||Varsenik Manucharyan, Hovhannes Bachkov||Swimming, Boxing|
|14||Antigua and Barbuda (ANT)|
|15||Andorra (AND)||Mònica Dòria||Canoeing|
|17||Israel (ISR)||Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko, Yakov Toumarkin||Athletics, Swimming|
|18||Italy (ITA)||Jessica Rossi, Elia Viviani||Shooting, Cycling|
|20||Iran (IRI)||Hanieh Rostamian, Samad Nikkhah Bahrami||Shooting, Basketball|
|21||India (IND)||Mary Kom, Manpreet Singh||Boxing, Field hockey|
|22||Indonesia (INA)||Nurul Akmal, Rio Waida||Weightlifting, Surfing|
|24||Ukraine (UKR)||Olena Kostevych, Bohdan Nikishyn||Shooting, Fencing|
|25||Uzbekistan (UZB)||Oksana Chusovitina, Bobo-Usmon Baturov||Gymnastics, Boxing|
|26||Uruguay (URU)||Déborah Rodríguez, Bruno Cetraro||Athletics, Rowing|
|27||Great Britain (GBR)||Hannah Mills, Mohamed Sbihi||Sailing, Rowing|
|28||British Virgin Islands (IVB)||Elinah Phillip, Kyron McMaster||Swimming, Athletics|
|29||Ecuador (ECU)||Neisi Dajomes, Julio Castillo||Weightlifting, Boxing|
|31||Estonia (EST)||Dina Ellermann, Tõnu Endrekson||Equestrian, Rowing|
|35||El Salvador (ESA)||Celina Márquez, Enrique Arathoon||Swimming, Sailing|
|36||Australia (AUS)||Cate Campbell, Patty Mills||Swimming, Basketball|
|37||Austria (AUT)||Tanja Frank, Thomas Zajac||Sailing|
|38||Oman (OMA)||Issa Al-Adawi||Swimming|
|39||Netherlands (NED)||Keet Oldenbeuving, Churandy Martina||Skateboarding, Athletics|
|40||Ghana (GHA)||Nadia Eke||Athletics|
|41||Cape Verde (CPV)|
|43||Kazakhstan (KAZ)||Olga Rypakova, Kamshybek Kunkabayev||Athletics, Boxing|
|45||Canada (CAN)||Miranda Ayim,Nathan Hirayama||Basketball, Rugby sevens|
|47||Cameroon (CMR)||Joseph Essombe||Wrestling|
|48||The Gambia (GAM)|
|50||North Macedonia (MKD)||Dejan Georgievski||Taekwondo|
|53||Cyprus (CYP)||Andri Eleftheriou, Pavlos Kontides||Shooting, Sailing|
|54||Cuba (CUB)||Yaime Pérez, Mijaín López||Athletics, Wrestling|
|55||Kiribati (KIR)||Kinaua Biribo||Judo|
|57||Guatemala (GUA)||Mirna Ortiz, Juan Ignacio Maegli||Athletics, Sailing|
|60||Cook Islands (COK)|
|62||Croatia (CRO)||Sandra Perković, Josip Glasnović||Athletics, Shooting|
|63||Cayman Islands (CAY)||Jillian Crooks, Brett Fraser||Swimming|
|64||Kenya (KEN)||Mercy Moim, Andrew Amonde||Volleyball, Rugby sevens|
|65||Ivory Coast (CIV)||Marie-Josée Ta Lou||Athletics|
|66||Costa Rica (CRC)||Andrea Vargas||Athletics|
|67||Kosovo (KOS)||Majlinda Kelmendi, Akil Gjakova||Judo|
|69||Colombia (COL)||Caterine Ibargüen||Athletics|
|70||Republic of the Congo (CGO)||Natacha Ngoye Akamabi||Athletics|
|71||Democratic Republic of the Congo (COD)|
|72||Saudi Arabia (KSA)|
|73||Samoa (SAM)||Alex Rose||Athletics|
|74||São Tomé and Príncipe (STP)|
|76||San Marino (SMR)||Arianna Valloni, Myles Amine||Swimming, Wrestling|
|77||Sierra Leone (SLE)|
|80||Georgia (GEO)||Nino Salukvadze, Lasha Talakhadze||Shooting, Weightlifting|
|82||Singapore (SGP)||Yu Mengyu, Loh Kean Yew||Table tennis, Badminton|
|84||Switzerland (SUI)||Mujinga Kambundji, Max Heinzer||Athletics, Fencing|
|85||Sweden (SWE)||Sara Algotsson Ostholt, Max Salminen||Equestrian, Sailing|
|87||Spain (ESP)||Mireia Belmonte, Saúl Craviotto||Swimming, Canoeing|
|88||Suriname (SUR)||Jair Tjon En Fa||Cycling|
|89||Sri Lanka (SRI)||Milka Gehani de Silva, Chamara Dharmawardana||Gymnastics, Judo|
|90||Slovakia (SVK)||Zuzana Rehák-Štefečeková, Matej Beňuš||Shooting, Canoeing|
|92||Seychelles (SEY)||Felicity Passon, Rodney Govinden||Swimming, Sailing|
|93||Equatorial Guinea (GEQ)|
|94||Senegal (SEN)||Jeanne Boutbien, Mbagnick Ndiaye||Swimming, Judo|
|95||Serbia (SRB)||Sonja Vasić, Filip Filipović||Basketball, Water polo|
|96||Saint Kitts and Nevis (SKN)|
|97||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (VIN)|
|98||Saint Lucia (LCA)|
|100||Solomon Islands (SOL)|
|101||Thailand (THA)||Naphaswan Yangpaiboon, Savate Sresthaporn||Shooting|
|102||South Korea (KOR)||Kim Yeon-koung, Hwang Sun-woo||Volleyball, Swimming|
|105||Czech Republic (CZE)|
|106||Chinese Taipei (TPE)||Kuo Hsing-chun, Lu Yen-hsun||Weightlifting, Tennis|
|108||Central African Republic (CAF)|
|109||China (CHN)||Zhu Ting, Zhao Shuai||Volleyball, Taekwondo|
|110||Tunisia (TUN)||Inès Boubakri, Mehdi Ben Cheikh||Fencing, Volleyball|
|111||Chile (CHI)||Francisca Crovetto, Marco Grimalt||Shooting, Volleyball|
|113||Denmark (DEN)||Sara Slott Petersen, Jonas Warrer||Athletics, Sailing|
|114||Germany (GER)||Laura Ludwig, Patrick Hausding||Volleyball, Diving|
|115||Togo (TOG)||Claire Akossiwa||Rowing|
|117||Dominican Republic (DOM)||Prisilla Rivera, Rodrigo Marte||Volleyball, Boxing|
|118||Trinidad and Tobago (TTO)|
|120||Turkey (TUR)||Merve Tuncel, Berke Saka||Swimming|
|121||Tonga (TGA)||Pita Taufatofua||Taekwondo|
|122||Nigeria (NGR)||Odunayo Adekuoroye||Wrestling|
|127||New Zealand (NZL)||Sarah Hirini, Hamish Bond||Rugby sevens, Rowing|
|128||Nepal (NEP)||Gaurika Singh||Swimming|
|131||Haiti (HAI)||Sabiana Anestor, Plast Darrell Valsain||Judo, Boxing|
|132||Pakistan (PAK)||Mahoor Shahzad, Muhammad Khalil Akhtar||Badminton, Shooting|
|133||Panama (PAN)||Atheyna Bylon, Alonso Edward||Boxing, Athletics|
|134||Vanuatu (VAN)||Rio Rii||Rowing|
|136||Papua New Guinea (PNG)|
|137||Bermuda (BER)||Dara Alizadeh||Rowing|
|139||Paraguay (PAR)||Verónica Cepede, Fabrizio Zanotti||Tennis, Golf|
|142||Hungary (HUN)||Aida Mohamed, László Cseh||Fencing, Swimming|
|144||East Timor (TLS)|
|145||Fiji (FIJ)||Rusila Nagasau, Jerry Tuwai||Rugby sevens|
|146||Philippines (PHI)||Kiyomi Watanabe, Eumir Marcial||Judo, Boxing|
|147||Finland (FIN)||Satu Mäkelä-Nummela, Ari-Pekka Liukkonen||Shooting, Swimming|
|149||Puerto Rico (PUR)||Adriana Díaz, Brian Afanador||Table tennis|
|150||Brazil (BRA)||Ketleyn Quadros, Bruno Rezende||Judo, Volleyball|
|151||Bulgaria (BUL)||Maria Grozdeva||Shooting|
|152||Burkina Faso (BUR)||Hugues Fabrice Zango||Athletics|
|155||American Samoa (ASA)|
|156||Virgin Islands (ISV)|
|158||Benin (BEN)||Odile Ahouanwanou||Athletics|
|159||Venezuela (VEN)||Yulimar Rojas, Antonio Díaz||Athletics, Karate|
|162||Peru (PER)||Daniella Rosas, Lucca Mesinas||Surfing|
|163||Belgium (BEL)||Nafissatou Thiam, Félix Denayer||Athletics, Field hockey|
|164||Poland (POL)||Maja Włoszczowska, Paweł Korzeniowski||Cycling, Swimming|
|165||Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH)||Larisa Cerić, Amel Tuka||Judo Athletics|
|167||Bolivia (BOL)||Karen Torrez, Gabriel Castillo||Swimming|
|168||Portugal (POR)||Telma Monteiro, Nelson Évora||Judo, Athletics|
|169||Hong Kong (HKG)||Tse Ying Suet, Cheung Ka Long||Badminton, Fencing|
|170||Honduras (HON)||Julio Horrego||Swimming|
|171||Marshall Islands (MHL)|
|172||Madagascar (MAD)||Tojonirina Andriantsitohaina||Weightlifting|
|175||Malta (MLT)||Eleanor Bezzina, Andrew Chetcuti||Shooting, Swimming|
|176||Malaysia (MAS)||Goh Liu Ying, Lee Zii Jia||Badminton|
|177||Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)|
|178||South Africa (RSA)||Phumelela Mbande, Chad le Clos||Field hockey, Swimming|
|179||South Sudan (SSD)|
|181||Mexico (MEX)||Gabriela López, Rommel Pacheco||Golf, Diving|
|182||Mauritius (MRI)||Roilya Ranaivosoa, Richarno Colin||Weightlifting, Boxing|
|185||Monaco (MON)||Xiaoxin Yang||Table tennis|
|186||Maldives (MDV)||Fathimath Nabaaha Abdul Razzaq||Badminton|
|188||Morocco (MAR)||Oumaïma Belahbib, Ramzi Boukhiam||Boxing, Surfing|
|189||Mongolia (MGL)||Khulan Onolbaatar, Duurenbayar Ulziibayar||Basketball Judo|
|190||Montenegro (MNE)||Jovanka Radičević, Draško Brguljan||Handball, Water polo|
|193||Latvia (LAT)||Jeļena Ostapenko, Agnis Čavars||Tennis, Basketball|
|198||Romania (ROU)||Mădălina Bereș, Robert Glință||Rowing, Swimming|
|199||Luxembourg (LUX)||Bob Bertemes||Athletics|
|202||Lebanon (LBN)||Ray Bassil, Nacif Elia||Shooting, Judo|
|203||United States (USA)||Sue Bird, Eddy Alvarez||Basketball, Baseball|
|204||France (FRA)||Clarisse Agbegnenou, Samir Aït Saïd||Judo, Gymnastics|
|205||Japan (JPN)||Yui Susaki, Rui Hachimura||Wrestling, Basketball|