END OF THE LINE

This is the order countries will march in during the Olympic opening ceremonies

Obsession
Rio 2016
Obsession
Rio 2016

Athletes from more than 200 countries will march into Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium this evening to open the summer Olympics. The procession, known as the parade of nations, has been a mainstay feature of Olympic opening ceremonies since the 1908 London games. These days, it can stretch for nearly two hours.

To get attention, therefore, it’s best to be either up front or making a grand entrance at the end; those in the middle will be lost in a sea of nations and their flags. Alas, their position in the parade is one thing the athletes can’t compete for.

Under the games’ precise protocol, Greece always marches first (in a nod to its status as the first nation to ever hold both the modern and ancient versions of the Olympics). The host country always goes last. For the rest, the parade follows alphabetical order in the local tongue—in the case of the Rio games, Portuguese.

In some Olympics, the local language plays in a country’s favor; others, not so much. In the London 2012 games, for example, the US walked almost last, when excitement in the stadium was reaching its peak. But its name in Portuguese is “Estados Unidos,” so it will be in the middle of the pack in Rio.

Others are luckier. South Africa (“Africa do Sul”) moves up to the front. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Australia was among the last to make an appearance. In Rio, the country is back close to the start of the line.

Here’s the list of participating countries (pdf) in their Portuguese alphabetical order, bookmarked by Greece and Brazil. The team of refugee athletes will appear next to last, per the International Olympic Committee.

1 Greece
2 Afghanistan
3 South Africa
4 Albania
5 Germany
6 Andorra
7 Angola
8 Antigua and Barbuda
9 Saudi Arabia
10 Algeria
11 Argentina
12 Armenia
13 Aruba
14 Independent Olympic Athletes
15 Australia
16 Austria
17 Azerbaijan
18 Bahamas
19 Bangladesh
20 Barbados
21 Bahrain
22 Belarus
23 Belgium
24 Belize
25 Benin
26 Bermuda
27 Bolivia
28 Bosnia and Herzegovina
29 Botswana
30 Brunei Darussalam
31 Bulgaria
32 Burkina Faso
33 Burundi
34 Bhutan
35 Cape Verde
36 Cameroon
37 Cambodia
38 Canada
39 Qatar
40 Kazakhstan
41 Cayman Islands
42 Central African Rebublic
43 Chad
44 Chile
45 China
46 Cyprus
47 Colombia
48 Comoros
49 Congo
50 Democratic Republic of Congo
51 Cook Islands
52 South Korea
53 Ivory Coast
54 Costa Rica
55 Croatia
56 Cuba
57 Denmark
58 Djibouti
59 Dominica
60 Dominican Republic
61 Egypt
62 El Salvador
63 Emirates Arab States
64 Ecuador
65 Eritrea
66 Slovakia
67 Slovenia
68 Spain
69 Federated Stats of Micronesia
70 United States of America
71 Estonia
72 Ethiopia
73 Macedonia
74 Fiji
75 Philippines
76 Finland
77 France
78 Gabon
79 Gambia
80 Ghana
81 Georgia
82 Great Britain
83 Grenada
84 Guam
85 Guatemala
86 Guyana
87 Guinea
88 Equatorial Guinea
89 Guinea-Bissau
90 Haiti
91 Honduras
92 Hong Kong, China
93 Hungary
94 Yemen
95 India
96 Indonesia
97 Iran
98 Iraq
99 Ireland
100 Iceland
101 Israel
102 Italy
103 Jamaica
104 Japan
105 Jordan
106 Kiribati
107 Kosovo
108 Laos
109 Lesotho
110 Latvia
111 Lebanon
112 Liberia
113 Libya
114 Liechtenstein
115 Lithuania
116 Luxembourg
117 Madagascar
118 Malaysia
119 Malawi
120 Maldives
121 Mali
122 Malta
123 Marshall Islands
124 Morocco
125 Mauritius
126 Mauritania
127 Mexico
128 Mozambique
129 Republic of Moldova
130 Monaco
131 Mongolia
132 Montenegro
133 Myanmar
134 Namibia
135 Nauru
136 Nepal
137 Nicaragua
138 Niger
139 Nigeria
140 Norway
141 New Zealand
142 Oman
143 Netherlands
144 Palau
145 Palestine
146 Panama
147 Papua New Guinea
148 Pakistan
149 Paraguay
150 Peru
151 Poland
152 Puerto Rico
153 Portugal
154 Kenya
155 Kyrgyzstan
156 North Korea
157 Romania
158 Rwanda
159 Russian Federation
160 Solomon Islands
161 Samoa
162 American Samoa
163 San Marino
164 Saint Lucia
165 St. Kitts-Nevis
166 Sao Tome and Principe
167 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
168 Seychelles
169 Senegal
170 Sierra Leone
171 Serbia
172 Singapore
173 Syria
174 Somalia
175 Sri Lanka
176 Swaziland
177 Sudan
178 South Sudan
179 Sweden
180 Switzerland
181 Suriname
182 Tajikistan
183 Thailand
184 Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
185 Tanzania
186 Czech Republic
187 Timor-Leste
188 Togo
189 Tonga
190 Trinidad and Tobago
191 Tunisia
192 Turkmenistan
193 Turkey
194 Tuvalu
195 Ukraine
196 Uganda
197 Uruguay
198 Uzbekistan
199 Vanuatu
200 Venezuela
201 Vietnam
202 US Virgin Islands
203 British Virgin Islands
204 Zambia
205 Zimbabwe
206 Refugee Olympic Team
207 Brazil

Correction (Aug 8): The list of countries in a previous version of this item was based on the list of Olympics’ participants provided by Rio 2016 organizers. It’s now based on the list provided by the International Olympic Committee, which was used to determine the order during the opening ceremony. The two used different criteria to alphabetize the countries’ names.

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