Jul 21, 2021 - Sports

Sue Bird, Eddy Alvarez named U.S. flag bearers for Olympics opening ceremony

Sue Bird #6 of the USA Basketball Womens National Team. Photo: Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Sue Bird. Photo: Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Veteran women's basketball star Sue Bird and baseball player Eddy Alvarez will be the flag bearers at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced.

Driving the news: The International Olympic Committee, calling this year's event the "first gender-equal Olympic Games ever," encouraged teams to have one woman and one man serve as their flag bearers.

  • “For the first time, there will be at least one female and one male athlete in each of the teams participating in the Games," the IOC also said.

The big picture: Bird, 40, has won four gold medals with the women's basketball team since 2004.

  • Alvarez, 31, who has played with the Miami Marlins, won a silver medal in speedskating at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • They were chosen by a vote of other Team USA athletes and "are the first duo to share the honor of leading the delegation into the Opening Ceremony," the U.S. Olympic committee said.

What to watch: The opening ceremony kicks off on July 23. NBC will broadcast the event beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET.

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