Today the US Olympic Committee announced Sue Bird and Eddy Alvarez as the flag bearers for the opening ceremonies of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Bird’s credentials are unparalleled amongst Olympians as she’s in search of fifth gold medal as a point guard for Team USA women’s basketball. The GOAT of guards in the history of the women’s game also has two collegiate national championships at UConn, and three WNBA titles with the Seattle Storm.
With her fiancee, USWNT soccer player and fellow Olympian Megan Rapinoe, she’s also a tireless advocate on women’s issues and LGBT rights.
Alvarez is one of the best stories in sports, winning a silver medal in speed skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi before joining the Miami Marlins organization as an infielder. He has seven hits and two RBI’s in his MLB career, all coming last season as part of the 40-man roster for the Fish. His silver came in the 5000 meter relay.
For the first time, the International Olympic Committee is allowing both one man and one woman to serve as flag bearers. Unlike almost all other countries, traditionally the United States does not “dip” the flag when passing the head of state of the host nation during the ceremony. We’ll see if Alvarez and Bird continue that practice on Friday in Tokyo.