Sue Bird, Eddy Alvarez Named USA Flag Bearers for Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 21, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 18:  Sue Bird #6 of the USA Basketball Womens National Team handles the ball during the game against the Nigeria Women's National Team on July 18, 2021 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The United States Olympic team announced Wednesday that women's basketball star Sue Bird and dual-sport athlete Eddy Alvarez will be the 2021 Summer Olympic flag bearers for Team USA during the opening ceremony in Tokyo on Friday.

Team USA @TeamUSA

An honor unlike any other.<a href="https://twitter.com/eddyalvarez90?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@eddyalvarez90</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/S10Bird?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@S10Bird</a> have been selected as <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamUSA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TeamUSA</a>’s flag bearers for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TokyoOlympics?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TokyoOlympics</a> Opening Ceremony. 🇺🇸 <a href="https://t.co/w7VFMYANft">pic.twitter.com/w7VFMYANft</a>

Bird, 40, is set to compete in her fifth career Olympic Games. She is in search of her fifth gold medal after previously winning gold at the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

She is also one of the greatest players in WNBA history, as the Seattle Storm legend is a 12-time All-Star, four-time WNBA champion and the league's all-time leader in career assists.

The 31-year-old Alvarez is one of the most unique Olympic athletes in recent memory, as he will be making his Summer Olympics debut in Tokyo after previously competing in the Winter Games.

Alvarez was part of the American speed skating team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, winning a silver medal in the 5,000-meter relay.

After that, he focused on his baseball career and went on to appear in 12 games for the Miami Marlins last season at second base, third base and shortstop. He hit .189 with no home runs, two RBI, six runs scored and two stolen bases.

This season, Alvarez has played for multiple minor-league teams, hitting .312 with three homers, 13 RBI, 15 runs and three steals in 23 games.

Baseball is making its return to the Olympics this year after being left out in 2012 and 2016.

Team USA won bronze the last time baseball was part of the Olympic program in 2008, and Alvarez will look to help lead the Americans to their second-ever Olympic gold medal in baseball, having previously won it in 2000.

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics will be held Friday and will air on NBC beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.