The order of the opening ceremony of the Olympics, explained : NPR


Flag bearers Apostolos Angelis and Maria Ntanou of Team Greece carry the flag of Greece during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images


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Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The order of the opening ceremony of the Olympics, explained : NPR

Flag bearers Apostolos Angelis and Maria Ntanou of Team Greece carry the flag of Greece during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Athletes from around the world joined Beijing for the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday morning. But the order of the Parade of Nations may have left you wondering: why does Malta enter before Australia?

During the parade, athletes from each of the competing nations enter the stadium together, waving their national flags and cheering the public.

The parade was first held at the 1908 Olympics in London and has become one of the most recognizable traditions of the winter and summer games. However, the order in which the nations evolve always seems foreign to you, you are not alone.

Here is what happens:

The first and last places in the running order make sense

The Greek delegation always enters first in the Parade of Nations at each Olympic Games; their perpetual leadership shows respect for their history as the site of the first Olympic Games in ancient times.

And endpoints always follow a shape as well. Second to last place goes to the country closest to hosting the Winter Games – in this case, Italy as they prepare for Milan Cortina 2026 – and current hosts China will go in last. to close the Parade of Nations. .

The order may make perfect sense to you if you read Simplified Chinese well.

The order of the rest of the nations is where it gets interesting. With the exception of the spots mentioned above, other nations are generally listed in alphabetical order corresponding to the language of the host country. But China’s main language, Mandarin, doesn’t have an alphabet like English, but uses characters, which can themselves be whole words.

So, for the order of the parade of nations in this Olympics, the nations will enter according to the stroke order, which is the number of strokes in the first character of the nation name in Mandarin, and the order in which the shots are made, reports Bloomberg.


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