Sue Bird, Eddie Alvarez Carry American Flag and Lead Team USA in Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations
Team USA was clad in gear designed by Ralph Lauren for the ceremony at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium on Friday night
The USA Women's Basketball star, 40, and the USA Baseball infielder, 31, served as flag bearers during the parade of nations for America's turn to walk, at 203rd. Countries marched according to the Japanese alphabet, with the United States and France going at the end — just before the host country — as they'll be home to the next two Summer Games.
Athletes entered to the sound of an orchestral medley of songs from some of Japan's most famous video games like Final Fantasy and Sonic the Hedgehog.
While some countries stayed for the entire parade of nations, Team USA joined the majority in opting to exit the stadium's floor immediately after their walk-through, likely due to coronavirus concerns.
"This is absolutely incredible, thank God I have Sue here holding me up because I'm freaking out a little bit, I'm not going to lie," Alvarez told NBC of his big moment. "This is so emotional and I'm feeling the energy of my team right now and it's so incredible guys."
Said Bird, "It's very difficult to describe -- the energy is insane, I know our country's in a tough moment right now but right now we all feel unified and it's incredible."
Although Bird's fiancée Megan Rapinoe wasn't able to attend, ahead of the ceremony she told Mike Tirico that she "couldn't be prouder and happier" for the WNBA player.
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"She told me on text, she heard at practice," Rapinoe, 36, told Tirico. "In typical Sue fashion she was very low-key about it but I did see the video when [Diana Taurasi] told her and I think that says it all, unlike me she doesn't like a lot of the attention but I think you could tell in that moment just how much it meant to her."
This year, Ralph Lauren designed Team USA's opening ceremony uniforms — which included classic navy blazers and American flag scarves — with innovation in mind.
"Through the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ralph Lauren celebrates America's pioneering spirit and tradition, while embracing modernity and innovation — and it is with that ethos in mind that we approached the development of the RL COOLINGtechnology," David Lauren, chief branding and innovation officer & vice chairman of the board, said in a statement ahead of the Games.
Approximately 6,000 athletes participated in the opening ceremony, which was closed to spectators but had 3,500 members of the media and 900 special guests in attendance.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23rd and the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24th on NBC.