One of the iconic moments on the Olympics is the Parade of Nations throughout the opening ceremonies, the place the athletes from each nation stroll in behind their nation’s flag and stand collectively to look at the festivities. However like many issues at this yr’s Summer season Olympics in Tokyo, this custom should be altered to stick to COVID-19 security protocols.
In January, Reuters reported that the Worldwide Olympic Committee expects just 6,000 athletes to attend the opening ceremonies, as a substitute of the earlier estimate of 11,000. The closing ceremonies will even be smaller due to restrictions on the Olympic Village. Athletes will not be allowed to reach on the grounds greater than 5 days earlier than their occasion, they usually’ll want to go away inside two days of ending their competitors, considerably decreasing the variety of athletes who shall be current for the ceremonial lighting (and extinguishing) of the Olympic flame.
The organizing committee famous that the way in which athletes enter the stadium can also change, however thus far, no additional particulars have been launched. In 2019, the Japan Instances reported one other change to the parade, unrelated to COVID. In line with that report, the order of the nations will be different this yr. As regular, Greece would be the first crew to enter, in honor of historical Greece’s position because the originator of the Olympics. Historically, the remainder of the international locations — besides the host nation, which matches final — would then enter in alphabetical order, based on the host nation’s language.
Beforehand, Olympics held in Japan have used English for this objective, however this yr, the Parade of Nations will occur in katakana order, or alphabetical order based mostly on the names of nations in Japanese. Nonetheless, the American and French delegations will enter subsequent to final, simply earlier than the Japanese delegation, to advertise the subsequent two editions of the Summer season Olympics: 2024 in Paris and 2028 in Los Angeles. It is a new custom that is anticipated to hold over to future Olympic Video games.