LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The International Olympic Committee announced at an Executive Board meeting Tuesday that the United States, France and Japan will be the last three countries to march in the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Games.
As in previous editions, Japan as host will be the last to appear in the 2020 Parade of Nations, while the IOC decided to break with Olympic tradition by having the host countries of the 2024 Paris Games and 2028 Los Angeles Games march at the end to promote the next two summer editions.
Greece, the site of the ancient Olympics, is the first to march in the Parade of Nations while the host country marches last. In the past, the remaining National Olympic Committees have marched in alphabetical order according to the host country’s language.
The IOC plans to have future host countries march last in later editions as well.
Due to the shift, the Refugee Olympic Team, which marched before host Brazil at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, will follow Greece in the Tokyo Games’ opening ceremony on July 24.
The IOC Executive Board also approved a budget as high as $5 million to cover the long-term storage for up to 10 years of samples collected from doping tests ahead of the 2020 Games in an effort to strengthen the battle against doping.