Former local minor leaguer Eddy Alvarez voted Team USA flagbearer at Tokyo Olympics

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Eddy Alvarez
(Photo: Parker Waters)

The New Orleans area may no longer have minor league baseball, but a member of the last team to play in the Crescent City two summers ago is poised to receive a huge honor at the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Eddy Alvarez is one of two flagbearers selected for Team USA, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee announced early Wednesday.

Eddy Alvarez Is Named As Team USA Men's Flag Bearer For The Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

Paving the way and making history.

Winter and Summer Olympian Eddy Alvarez will lead Team USA as a flag bearer. #TokyoOlympics

Posted by Team USA on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

 
The 31-year-old Alvarez – an infielder who played 66 games for New Orleans in 2019 – is a unique story. He didn’t begin his pro baseball career until age 24 after winning a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in short track speed skating. He’s back in the Olympics this summer with the United States baseball team, playing a sport which has not had the chance to compete in the Olympics since 2008.

In addition to becoming the 11th American to compete in both the Winter and Summer games, Alvarez has the chance to join a rare group of athletes to win medals in both.

Alvarez will be joined by women’s basketball player Sue Bird as Team USA flagbearers.

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Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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