BEIJING, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) — As an Olympic tradition, Greece, which hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, was the first team to start the parade of athletes into the Bird’s Nest Stadium.
China, as hosts, marched in last; future Olympic Winter Games hosts Italy (Milano-Cortina 2026) entered the second-from-last under a change approved by the IOC Executive Board in December 2019.
Other than that, athletes entered in stroke order of their team names as written in the Chinese characters, with Turkey following Greece.
The teams were led by a placard bearer dressed in costumes with ice and snow patterns. The placards, in the shape of a glowing snowflake with National/Regional Olympic Committee names on them, are inspired by the “Chinese knot,” which is an ancient Chinese craft of hand knitting, symbolizing solidarity and prosperity.