One of the most exciting aspect of any Olympic event is the opening ceremony. And in that, the parade of nations makes for an interesting affair with an entire nation watching to see which all athletes appear, to see their national flag be visible to all, and even what the athletes wear away from their respective sports.
At the parade, countries are called out based on their first letter in the host nation’s language. In India’s case, that won’t be a problem with no difference in Portuguese (Brazil’s official language). However United States would go much earlier than it did at the London Olympics (Estados Unidos).
India are likely to enter the arena at 9.37 PM local time (6.07 AM IST on Saturday) with a 29 second slot allotted.
For India, the flag bearer will be Olympic medallist from Beijing Abhinav Bindra. Bindra, competing in his fifth Olympics, was selected ahead of the likes of Yogeshwar Dutt, Vijender Singh and Leander Paes.
Athlete Purma Banerjee was the first Indian Olympian to become the flag bearer for the Indian contingent at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. Since then, Balbir Singh Sr has carried the flag twice (1952 and 1956 Olympics) with athlete Shiny Abraham-Wilson becoming the first woman.
The entire list of flag bearers at Summer Olympics:
1920 – Purma Banerjee
1932 – Lal Shah Bhokhari
1936 – Major Dhyan Chand
1952 – Balbir Singh Sr.
1956 – Balbir Singh Sr.
1964 – Gurbachan Singh Randhawa
1972 – D.N. Devine Jones
1984 – Zafar Iqbal
1988 – Kartar Dhillon Singh
1992 – Shiny Abraham-Wilson
1996 – Pargat Singh
2000 – Leander Paes
2004 – Anju Bobby George
2008 – Rajyavardhan Rathore
2012 – Sushil Kumar
2016 – Abhinav Bindra
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