SOCHI, Russia — As dozens of nations parade into the Fisht Olympic Stadium on Friday to mark the opening of the 22nd Olympic Winter Games, most American eyes are on the garishly cardiganed U.S. delegation — led by its flag bearer, Todd Lodwick, a six-time Olympian in Nordic combined.
It is a familiar ritual.
For seven other nations, however, the ceremony is entirely new; it marks the first time they have sent competitors to the Winter Games.
Most are island nations, and they hail from five continents and Oceania: Dominica (North America), East Timor (Asia), Malta (Europe), Paraguay (South America), Togo and Zimbabwe (Africa) and Tonga (Oceania). Meet the athletes behind the flags: