Why Greece always leads the parade of athletes at the Olympic opening ceremony and how the rest of the order is determined

GreeceGetty ImagesGreek sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou led the parade of athletes at the Rio Olympics.

The 2016 Summer Olympics officially kicked off on Friday night with the opening ceremony in Rio.

As has become tradition, the ceremony starts with a celebration of the host country, followed by the parade of athletes. And once again, Greece was the first country introduced due to their historical importance to the game.

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 2016, this will be Brazil
  • 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, Brazil.

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