When Eddy Alvarez hosted Stars and Stripes Friday in Tokyo, he joked that Team USA flag bearer Sue Bird needed to hold him back in case he was overwhelmed by emotions again.
Alvarez – a 31-year-old minor league baseball player and son of Cuban immigrants – choked up in tears as he described his honor. represent the country.
“Just to have the honor of representing the United States of America, to hold the flag – the symbol of freedom, of liberty – my family has come from Cuba to this country in search of opportunity, and if they don’t do that. that, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now,” he told NBC’s “Today” show. “I mean, this is a whirlwind of emotions.”
In a statement to The Post, Alvarez, 2014 Olympic silver medalist in speed skating and now a member of the U.S. baseball team, added: “As a first-generation Cuban-American, the story of I represent the American Dream. My family has sacrificed so much for me to have the opportunity to proudly wave this flag.”
Alvarez and four-time Olympic basketball gold medal Bird lead their comrades into an Olympics unlike any other. The stands were empty, many athletes wore masks because of the COVID pandemic, and the sound of Japanese protesters outside the stadium – calling for the matches to be canceled – sometimes permeated the ceremony.
First Lady Jill Biden wearing a mask and was one of the dignitaries at the National Stadium. The 68,000-capacity facility welcomed approximately 5,700 athletes from 206 delegations and a mostly working crowd estimated at 10,000, as the national forces marched, took selfies and returned to the bus, not have to go around admiring each other.
Described by NBC co-hosts Mike Tirico and Savannah Guthrie as “humble, more leisurely” and “lighter” than the high-profile ceremonies of the recent Olympics, “surreal” seems to be a description. suitable.
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The opening image of a lone athlete running on a treadmill (Japanese boxer Arisa Tsubata) depicts the message “Beyond, but not alone,” marking a note for athletes who have trained. Isolation training for one more year after being postponed in 2020.
Steeped in history, Tokyo displays Olympic rings created using wood from 160 pine and spruce trees planted with seeds around the world by athletes participating when the city hosted the 1964 Olympics.
The familiar sites of fireworks, fireworks and the Tongan flag bearer Pita Taufatofua have brought solace to those hoping to recreate Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro. Taufatofua – 37-year-old boxer – back topless and oiled, though his patented heart look was copied by Vanuatu flag bearer Rillio Rii, a rower with muscles as bright as oil.
Naomi Osaka, the Japanese women’s tennis star who kicked off an international conversation about athletes’ mental health under pressure when she withdrew from Wimbledon in June, lit the cauldron. Olympics.
Bird, a Syosset, LI, native, said: “I know we’re going through a tough time right now. “But right now, we all feel united and it’s unbelievable.”
https://nypost.com/2021/07/24/eddy-alvarez-son-of-cuban-immigrants-proud-to-be-team-usa-flag-bearer-at-tokyo-olympics/ | Eddy Alvarez, son of Cuban immigrants, proud to be Team USA flag-bearer at Tokyo Olympics