Tokyo Olympics 2020: IOC to allow male and female flagbearers
- The move is in line with the IOC's bid to promote gender parity.
What's the story?
In a bid to promote gender parity, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has allowed nations to have both men and women as their flagbearers at the opening ceremony for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In case you didn't know
In the opening ceremony, the contingents of all the nations enter the stadium with the flagbearer leading them. In most cases, the flagbearer is the country's leading medal contender or a previously-successful athlete.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Abhinav Bindra was the flagbearer for the Indian contingent.
Check out: the full Olympics 2020 Schedule
The heart of the matter
IOC President Thomas Bach has said that the main reason behind the organization changing its protocols was to facilitate the representation of both the genders. The opening ceremony is one of the most viewed aspects of the sporting festival.
Bach then called on all the participating nations to make use of this new option of having 'double flagbearers'.
“We encourage all national Olympic committees to make use of this option."
Apart from that, he also reflected on the IOC's mandate to have at least one male and one female participant in each of the 206 delegations set to take part in the Olympics, saying that the two initiatives strongly indicated the committee's stand on gender balance.
“With these two initiatives, the IOC is sending another extremely strong message to the world that gender balance is a reality at the Olympic Games.”
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are due to start from 24 July but the recent Cornonvirus outbreak has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the date of commencement of the sporting festival.
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