TOKYO, Japan — Team USA's Eddy Alvarez tipped his cap to basketball legend Sue Bird on Friday as the pair led out the Americans into the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo.
Speaking to NBC's Mike Tirico and Savannah Guthrie as they brought the American flag into the stadium, Alvarez said, "Thank God that I have Sue here holding me up because I'm freaking out a little bit."
"Not gonna lie, it's so emotional," the baseball player added. "I'm feeling the energy by my team right now, it's absolutely incredible."
Bird, who is competing in her fifth Olympics and seeking her fifth gold medal with the women's basketball team, summed up the magnitude of the moment that Alvarez was feeling.
"The energy is insane. I know our country is in a tough moment right now, but we're also unified and it's incredible," she said.
Tirico also let the flag bearers know their families were watching and listening back home, another emotional moment.
"We always have their support, even though they're not here we're feeling it from afar," Bird said. "We just wanna thank them so much, I wanna say good luck to all athletes and to all families - we love you, stay with us."
Team USA was the third to last country to enter the Olympic stadium, with the final positions in the Parade of Nations reserved for the host nation Japan and the coming host nations France and the United States.