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During the Parade of Nations section of the 1998 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, athletes from each country participating in the Olympics paraded in the arena. The flag from each team was borne by a sportsperson from that country chosen either by the National Olympic Committee or by the athletes themselves to represent their country. Due the rules stipulated by the Olympic Charter (and political issues between China and Chinese Taipei along the two Koreas) at the time the Organizing Committee opted for the option of the protocol order in English, instead of host nation's language, Japanese. Greece led the parade, followed by Andorra. Had the parade followed the Japanese characters, Greece would have been followed by Iceland, and Russian Federation would have been the penultimate country before Japan. One sumo wrestler and one yukiko (lit. snow children) which bears a country name sign marched before each delegation. Some of famous sumo wrestlers such as Takanonami and Wakanohana accompanied the teams. The yukikos also took part in several other segments in the ceremony.
- ^ "Akebono to perform 'dohyo-iri' at Olympic opening". shinmai.co.jp. January 28, 1998. Archived from the original on 9 February 2005. Retrieved 27 July 2015.