As has become tradition, the ceremony starts with a celebration of the host country, followed by the parade of athletes.
Why does Greece come out first in the Olympic Games opening ceremony?
Greece always enters the stadium first and leads the parade to honor its status as the birthplace of the Olympics.
When the Olympic Games were first revived in 1896, Athens was chosen as the host city.
The Greek team, and their flag, also enter first at every Summer and Winter Olympic Games
The order of the parade of nations at every Olympics is as follows.
Greece comes in first — this is due to their roll in the origin of the Olympics
The host nation comes in last — in 2020, this will be Japan
The rest of the nations are ordered alphabetically by the language of the host nation — As a result of this, Afghanistan was the first nation after Greece, followed by South Africa (África do Sul in Portuguese). Zambia will be the 207th and final nation before the host nation, Japan.
Why is the Greek flag flown at the Olympic Games closing ceremony?
The Greek flag is always flown during the closing ceremony in recognition of the role ancient Greece had in creating the Olympic Games.
From 776BC, the games were held every four years in Greece in honour of the god Zeus.
This continued for over a thousands years until 393AD when the last recorded celebration was held under Roman Empire Theodosius.
Only freeborn Greek men were allowed to compete, though women were allowed to own chariots.