The Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations will look slightly different in Tokyo on July 24.
Greece, which traditionally marches in first as the nation that founded the Olympics, will now be followed by the Refugee Olympic Team, which debuted in Rio.
The Refugee team, which marches under the Olympic Flag, moves up some 200 places in the marching order. In 2016, the refugee team was next to last, just before the host nation Brazil.
In Tokyo, the refugee team will be followed by the usual order of nations in alphabetical order. Then in another change, future Olympic hosts will be moved to the end of the order, just before host nation Japan.
The last three nations to march will be the U.S. (2028 Olympic host Los Angeles), France (2024 Olympic host Paris) and Japan.
“To increase the special focus that future hosts already enjoy over the course of their Games preparations by giving them prominence in the stadium and, obviously, with a global audience of several billion,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said. “Equally, with the Refugee Olympic Team, we want to give that some big prominence.”
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