Eddy Alvarez and Sue Bird already will win big at the Tokyo Olympics when they enter the field at the opening ceremony.
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show Alvarez and Bird will serve as the country’s flag bearers at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony. Alvarez and Bird won the honor by vote of their fellow U.S. Olympic athletes, and they’ll lead Team USA onto the field Friday at the Olympic Stadium in the opening ceremony.
“He earned a silver medal in Sochi (at the 2014 Winter Olympics) as a speed skater,” co-anchor Hoda Kotb said. “He also played for the Miami Marlins and is now representing Team USA on the diamond.”
“Next up, legendary basketball star Sue Bird,” co-anchor Craig Melvin followed. “Sue making history at the age of 40 as the oldest American basketball player to ever compete in the Olympics.”
The Tokyo Olympics will mark the first time a due will lead the U.S. delegation onto the field during the parade of nations.
Alvarez will become the first baseball player to the carry the U.S. flag in the opening ceremony. Baseball returns as an Olympic sport, following its absences from the 2016 and 2012 Games, and Alvarez and his baseball teammates are vying to win Team USA’s first gold medal in the sport since 2000.
Bird will become the first woman to carry the U.S. flag at the ceremony since Dawn Staley did so at the 2004 Games in Athens. Bird also hopes to lead Team USA women’s basketball, which Staley now coaches, to a fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal.
Legendary swimmer Michael Phelps was the United States’ flag bearer at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The opening ceremony will begin at 6:55 a.m. ET on Friday in Tokyo.