Flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics are a staple of celebration every two years. Who is selected to carry their country’s flag in Tokyo at the July 23 Opening Ceremony will be a who’s who of respected athletes from each country.
In the past, each country has had one flag bearer. However, this year the International Olympic Committee has encouraged two flag bearers for each country, one man and one women. We’re not sure how a nonbinary athlete like Quinn from Canada would fit into that equation, as Quinn is nonbinary. But this year the Canadian flag will be carried by someone else. So we won’t find out.
A number of the flag bearers this year will be out LGBTQ athletes at the Olympics. So far these are the out athletes we know will be carrying their country’s flag:
Argentina: Cecilia Caranza, sailing
Cyprus: Andri Eleftheriou, shooting
Finland: Ari-Pekka Liukkonen, swimming
Ireland: Kellie Harrington, boxing
United States: Sue Bird, basketball
Venezuela: Yulimar Rojas, track and field
The Opening Ceremony is always a point of celebration, particularly for the host nation. It will be interesting to see how it plays out without fans in the stands.
Still, ultimately it’s about welcoming the athletes to the pinnacle of their careers, and they’ll be the stars of this Opening Ceremony like maybe never before.
Thanks to LGBTQ Olympics historian Tony Scupham-Bilton for helping put together this list and stay on top of the Tokyo flag bearers.