A huge honor for Olympic athletes is getting to be a flag bearer for their country at the opening ceremony of the Games. On Friday night when Team USA walks into Japan National Stadium in Tokyo, an athlete with Utah ties will have that privilege.
On Wednesday, it was announced that baseball player Eddy Alvarez and women’s basketball legend Sue Bird will be the United States’ flag bearers. Alvarez, a native of Miami, Florida, played baseball at Salt Lake Community College in 2011.
A two-sport star, Alvarez had played baseball after failing to make the 2010 Winter Olympics in speedskating. He made it in 2014, however, and was part of the 5,000-meter relay team that won a silver medal.
Just months after the Olympics, Alvarez returned to baseball, signing with the Chicago White Sox organization. He played for a number of their minor league teams before being traded to his hometown Miami Marlins in 2019.
Finally on Aug. 5 of last year, Alvarez made his Major League debut. He was with the Marlins for about a month before starting this season in Triple-A. In May, he was named to the Team USA roster that would aim to qualify for the Olympics. That qualification occurred in June, and Alvarez was formally named to the Olympic team earlier this month.
Alvarez will become the 135th athlete to compete at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.