On the first day of its three-day meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Executive Board (EB) today decided to make changes to the marching order of athletes’ parades at Olympic Games opening ceremonies.
Teams from the upcoming host countries of the corresponding Games (Summer or Winter) will now march immediately before the current host delegation, which traditionally closes the athletes’ parade.
This means that, at Tokyo 2020, the three last teams to march will be the USA, France and Japan, in that order. Therefore, the Refugee Olympic Team, which was second-to-last at Rio 2016, will come immediately after Greece, and thereby get special attention, too. As Greece is the birthplace of the Olympic Games, its team always opens the parade.
The aim of the change is to increase the special focus that future hosts already enjoy over the course of their Games preparations by giving them prominence in the stadium and among global audiences during opening ceremonies.
Changes of nationality
The EB also approved three changes of nationality (one for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 and two for Tokyo 2020) in agreement with the respective National Olympic Committees and International Federations.
The athletes, who were exempted from the required three-year waiting period since last representing their former countries, are:
- Ms Ailing (Eileen) GU - Freestyle Skiing - from the USA to China (for Lausanne 2020)
- Ms Emily KAY - Cycling - from Great Britain to Ireland (for Tokyo 2020)
- Ms Maria KHARENKOVA - Gymnastics - from Russia to Georgia (for Tokyo 2020)