Mark Brown/Getty Eddy Alvarez
Eddy Alvarez is proud to represent his country.
While appearing virtually on the Today show shortly after the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games Friday morning, the 31-year-old athlete opened up about the "emotional" experience of getting to serve as a flag bearer for Team USA.
"Just to get the honor to represent the United States of America, to hold the flag — the symbol of liberty, of freedom — my family came over to this country from Cuba in search of opportunity, and if it wasn't for them doing that, I wouldn't be in the position that I am now," he continued. "I mean, this has been such a whirlwind of emotions."
With his fellow Olympians close behind him, Alvarez led Team USA alongside fellow flag bearer Sue Bird.
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During the moment, athletes entered to the sound of an orchestral medley of songs from some of Japan's most famous video games like Final Fantasy and Sonic the Hedgehog.
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While continuing to chat with Today after the kick-off event, Alvarez got a chance to talk to his family — parents Mabel and Walter as well as his wife Gabby and their 11-month-old son Jett — who were cheering him on from Florida.
When asked how it was to watch her husband take part in the Games and be tasked with his prestigious honor, Alvarez's wife spoke to him directly, saying, "It was such an emotional, incredible feeling. I'm so proud of you [and] everything you represent. You've made all of us so proud."
Added the Miami Marlins star's father: "Seeing all the Americans already gave me chills, and now seeing Eddy in front of all the U.S. team knocked me out of my socks. I can't be any more proud."
"There's no words to express the feeling," his Mom said while tearing up. "I thought I was going to be strong, but I lost it. I lost it because Eddy, you truly made us proud, baby, like always."
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23rd and the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24th on NBC.