This is why Greece always leads the parade of nations at the Olympics:
If you’ve seen the opening ceremony for the Olympics even once, you’ll know that Greece always leads the Parade of Nations. There’s a simple reason why the Greek team always enters the Olympic stadium first.
Why is the Greece Flag in Olympic
Due to its status as the original site of the Olympic Games and the site of the first modern Olympics in 1896, Greece is given a prominent spot in the Parade of Nations.
At each Olympic Games, the Greek delegation always enters first, followed by the rest of the teams in alphabetical order based on the language spoken in the host country.
One custom that has emerged is to put the countries that will be hosting future Olympics at the very back of the line, ahead of the host country itself.
For example, the Chinese delegation entered the 2018 Summer Olympics in Beijing last, followed by the Italian delegation, who will host the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan.
Over the course of the last century and a half of Olympic competition, Greece has never finished lower than first. In 2004, Greece—the country where the modern Olympic Games began—hosted the Summer Games.
Athens, Greece, was the Olympic Games’ traditional home.
When they had the “right” to enter either first or last, as is customary, they decided to do things a bit differently.
The Parade of Nations traditionally begins with Greece, therefore the Greek flag bearer entered first, while the rest of the Greek delegation entered last (as is customary for the host country).
Even as the Olympics grow and evolve throughout the years, the inclusion of a tribute to Greece in each opening ceremony remains a simple but meaningful tradition that honours the Games’ rich heritage.