Who Is Eddy Alvarez? Baseball Player and Male U.S. Olympic Flag Bearer at Tokyo 2020

Eddy Alvarez, the American baseball player and former speed skater who won an Olympic medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, joins women's basketball player Sue Bird, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, as one of two Team USA flag bearers at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony.

From this year's Games, the International Olympic Committee has required at least one female and one male flag bearer at the opening ceremony for all editions of the Summer Games in a bid to "ensure full gender representation across the teams."

Alvarez will be competing at the Tokyo Olympics as part of the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team. If he wins a medal at the Tokyo Games in the six-team baseball tournament, he will be the sixth athlete in Olympic history to win a medal at both the Winter and Summer Games, according to the Tokyo Olympics website.

He is the first baseball player to carry the U.S. flag at the opening ceremony, according to USA Baseball, the national governing body that represents the sport in the U.S. as a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) as well as internationally as a member federation of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).

The U.S. will be among the last three countries to appear in the parade of athletes at the opening ceremony. The U.S. will be followed by France before Japan, being the host country, concludes the parade.

An honor unlike any other.@eddyalvarez90 and @S10Bird have been selected as #TeamUSA’s flag bearers for the #TokyoOlympics Opening Ceremony. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/w7VFMYANft

— Team USA (@TeamUSA) July 21, 2021

Alvarez and Bird were chosen as the flag bears following a vote by fellow Team USA athletes.

The baseball player said: "It is an honor and a privilege to be named as one of the flag bearers by my fellow Team USA athletes for the Opening Ceremony," following the announcement of his selection.

"Being a first-generation Cuban-American, my story represents the American Dream. My family has sacrificed so much for me to have the opportunity to wave this flag proudly,"

Who is Eddy Alvarez?

Alvarez currently plays for the Miami Marlins, a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Miami, Florida.

Before making his major league baseball career debut in 2020, the 31-year-old competed internationally as a short track speed skater, including at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, becoming the first Cuban American male speed skater to make a U.S. Olympic team, according to his biography at the MLB website.

Alvarez won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Games in the 5,000 meter relay race. The infielder told the Tokyo 2020 website on Thursday: "Walking in the opening ceremony and just being part of the Olympics is so special and it's something to cherish forever. I'm still in awe of it really.

"Putting on a USA uniform and stepping on the Olympic ice, it's an unbelievable thing in my life. The feelings are huge," he added.

Baseball player Eddy Alvarez seen in Florida.
Eddy Alvarez seen at the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier Super Round game at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida in June. Mark Brown/Getty Images

Alvarez also competed in the 1,500 meter (ranking 19th), 1,000 meter (ranking 11th) and 500 meter (ranking 31st) events in Sochi.

Back in 2012, he also made the U.S. World Cup Team, finishing the season as the third-highest ranked skater in the country, according to the MLB website.

Alvarez also competed in the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships. He bagged a gold medal win in the 3,000 meter relay at the 2009 Jr. World Championships.