Do you have to fight to carry the flag?

Is that why so many of the flag-bearers in the Opening Ceremony at the Olympics were Judo players? It seemed that every other flag-bearer was his country’s Judo guy. Dozens of sports represented, but Judo just seemed over-represented.

We wondered why. A couple of guesses:

  1. Upper body strength. But then, weightlifters, swimmers, shot-putters, guys like that are pretty strong too.

  2. Scheduling. I know a lot of gymnasts and swimmers didn’t march because they were competing in the next two days. Maybe Judo is scheduled to begin relatively late in the games, so carrying the flag doesn’t represent a risk of taxing strength just before competing.

Any other explanations?

I don’t think #2 is the answer, since judo’s been going on all day, every day since the games started (it’s this country’s main medal opportunity, so it’s been running on three channels almost 24 hours).

I thought that being the chosen as flag bearer was an honour/reward for past Olympic performances.

Yes, that’s probably the best explanation. For Greece, the flagbearer was Pyros Demas, a weightlifter. I believe this guy has more medals than all other Greek athletes combined. :stuck_out_tongue:

Like calm kiwi said, it’s an honor. Some country’s athletes vote for flagbearer, and for other countries the PTB appoint the person that they feel has demonstrated leadership and will do well in his/her events.

And how do I know this, you ask? I was told this by a friend of mine who is a friend of Eileen Coparoppa, who was Panama’s flag bearer. She is a swimmer and many swimmers skipped the opening ceremony, but Eileen wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to carry Panama’s flag.