Opening Ceremony

Sue Bird and Eddy Alvarez Selected as U.S. Flag Bearers at Tokyo Opening Ceremony

Bird and Alvarez have been honored thanks to their unique Olympic credentials

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Flag-bearing honors for the United States will go to Sue Bird and Eddy Alvarez.

Bird, a four-time gold medalist with the U.S. women's basketball team, and Alvarez, an infielder on the U.S. baseball team and silver medal winner in speedskating, will lead the United States during the Parade of Nations at the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. The announcements were revealed on Wednesday's episode of "TODAY."

The two were selected for the honor by their fellow athletes. It's the first Olympics where each nation will be represented by two athletes, one male and one female, to promote gender equality.

Most recent flag bearers for the United States during the Summer Olympics include swimmer Michael Phelps (swimming, 2016), Mariel Zagunis (fencing, 2012), Lopez Lomong (athletic, 2008) and Dawn Staley (women's basketball, 2004).

Bird, 40, is looking to become the first basketball player to win five gold medals (along with current teammate Diana Taurasi). She first debuted in the Olympics in 2004.

Alvarez, 31, made his major league debut with the Miami Marlins last season after years in the minor leagues. He will become the first baseball player to be flag bearer for the United States. Having grown up roller skating, Alvarez took second in the speedskating 5000m relay during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He's looking to become just the third American to medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

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The Opening Ceremony is set for Friday at 7 a.m. ET with live coverage on NBC.

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