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23rd Jul 2021

Ireland make respectful gesture during Parade of Nations at Olympic opening ceremony

Lee Costello

They were the only country to do it.

Irish fans didn’t have to wait too long to see their athletes on display as Ireland were one of the first countries to walk out during the opening ceremony.

Boxers Kellie Harrington and Brendan Irvine lead Team Ireland out, proudly waving the national flag, a moment which they will remember forever.

Due to COVID-19, there were no spectators permitted in the venue and the athletes were encourages to remain as quiet as they can, to prevent the further spread of Covid.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

As the team walked in they stopped to bow to representatives from the host nation – a gesture which is very important in Japanese culture.

They were the only team to honour the Japanese tradition by performing this bow, and it is the perfect to start to what we hope is a respectful and successful Olympic tournament for Ireland.

Irish fans have always had a great reputation of being a respectful and entertaining nation, particularly when it came to sports.

During Euro 2016 the Republic and Northern Ireland teams were both awarded the ‘Fans of the Tournament’ award, and although no fans can travel to Tokyo, the athletes are continuing to enhance the country’s respectful reputation.