This appears in rappler.com
Explaining the Lariba to Alora flag switch during the Parade of nations
by rick olivares pic by sergei ilnitsy
If you noticed at one point when the Philippine contingent to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics entered the Maracaña Stadium during the Parade of Nations, it was table tennis paddler Ian Lariba who waved the nation’s flag.
However, one the RP contingent passed the VIP Grandstand, the flag changed hand to Lariba’s fellow first-time Olympian, taekwondo jin, Kirstie Elaine Alora.
The switch was planned as early as the athletes’ briefing last July 20 at the offices of the Philippine Olympic Committee. Said POC First Vice President and chef-de-mission to Rio Jose Romasanta, “Ian will be competing first thing the following day (August 6) and we didn’t want her to get tired from all the waving of the flag that is a little heavy. So we asked Elaine (Alora) to carry the flag after a certain point during the entrance.”
“It was debated at one point if Lariba should instead rest and not march however, it prevailed that she march and be given the honor of carrying the nation’s colors in this once-in-a-rare-lifetime experience.”
“I have no problems with the switch,” said Lariba in an interview with Rappler a few days before the Opening Ceremony. “They only have my best interests. And besides, it’s a win-win situation for me and Elaine.”
Lariba is scheduled to play at 9am on August 6 where she go up against Han Xing of Congo in the Women’s Table Tennis Preliminary Round.
Alora doesn’t compete until August 20th.