Sue Bird and Eddy Alvarez Lead Team USA into the Opening Ceremony

The United States Olympic team — well, some of it — has entered the Olympic Stadium behind its flag bearers, the basketball player Sue Bird and the baseball player Eddy Alvarez.

Bird and Alvarez were chosen as flag-bearers by their fellow Olympians. This is the first time each nation has been asked to nominate not one but two flag-bearers. Each team was encouraged to name one man and one woman.

This year’s U.S. delegation is one of its biggest ever, with 613 athletes, including 193 retuning Olympians, and stars like Kevin Durant, Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel and Diana Taurasi.

But the number of athletes marching in the parade of nations on Friday is a fraction of that. While some athletes, including members of the women’s soccer and gymnastics teams, are already in Tokyo and preparing for their events, many others have not yet arrived in Japan.

Athletes have been encouraged to arrive in Tokyo five days before their events, and asked to leave two days after they compete.

The soccer team, which plays New Zealand in nearby Saitama on Saturday, sat it out but still marched — in their hotel.

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Written by bourbiza

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