USA women’s basketball star Sue Bird and baseball infielder Eddy Alvarez will serve as flag bearers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Team USA tweeted out the selection of Bird and Alvarez as this Olympics’ flag bearers.

“An honor unlike any other,” Team USA tweeted out. “Eddy Alvarez and Sue Bird have been selected as Team USA flag bearers for the #TokyoOlympics.”

Traditionally in the past, only one person served as the flag bearer in the Olympics. But this year it was changed to two after the International Olympic Committee encouraged one male and one female to represent the nation as a symbol of gender parity.

“With 49 percent female participation, Tokyo 2020 will be the first gender-equal Olympic Games ever,” the IOC said. “For the first time, there will be at least one female and one male athlete in each of the teams participating in the Games.”

Bird, 40, has won four gold medals with the women’s team since 2004. The Team USA basketball star will enter the Tokyo Olympics with the hopes of winning her fifth gold medal. Bird was honored to be selected as a flag bearer, especially with the selection coming from her peers. The flag bearers are chosen by their fellow athletes.

“I think that’s the best part, to be honest, to have your peers be the one to kind of see your career and pick you to be the one to lead us in,” Bird told the Today Show on Wednesday.

Alvarez, 31, has played with the Miami Marlins and won a silver medal in speedskating at the 2014 Winter Olympics. USA baseball looks to win its first gold medal since the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Read more about:
Chat With uSports On Facebook! Get latest news and interviews delivered directly to your Messenger!