In her fifth Olympic games, former UConn star Sue Bird has been selected as the US flag bearer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony alongside Eddy Alvarez.
“It’s an incredible honor to be selected the flag bearer for Team USA,” Bird said in a release. “I know what that means, because I got to witness Dawn Staley go through it when she was selected in 2004. It’s an honor that is bigger than the moment in that you’ve been selected by your fellow Team USA athletes to represent the entire delegation, and it will last forever.
“Also, in the moment, I got to witness what it was to lead Team USA into the Opening Ceremony, and it’s an incredible feeling and once again, such a huge honor. Also, I know this isn’t about me. This is about all the players who either came before me and set the tone for what the USA Basketball women’s program is now, and also the players that I’ve been fortunate enough to play with. So, it’s not just about me. It’s representing all of them.”
In the past, only one person has served as the flag bearer but this year, the International Olympic Committee required each nation to have one male and one female athlete representative instead. The flag bearer is chosen by the athletes themselves.
Bird first appeared in the 2004 Athens Olympics and since then, she’s helped Team USA win gold four times with a perfect 32-0 record along the way. She is the second basketball player ever to carry the flag, joining Olympic team head coach Dawn Staley, who did so in 2004.
Alvarez is a member of the USA Baseball team and previously won a silver medal in speedskating at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The Opening Ceremony will be held on Friday, July 23 at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. Coverage will begin on NBC at 7:30 p.m. EST.