Olympic Stud of the Day, our daily celebration of an athlete’s winning performance and/or personality, is back. Usually, we choose an enthusiastic flagbearer for the Day 1 honor. But then, the Independent Olympic Athletes made their entrance during the Opening Ceremony’s fast-paced Parade of Nations and we remembered why we sit through a 4.5 hour telecast — for surprises like their dance routine stealing the show from Queen Elizabeth and James Bond (Daniel Craig), who pretend-parachuted into the stadium from a helicopter.
Should you want to follow them in the Games, they were three athletes from the recently dissolved Netherlands Antilles: From left to right, Philipine van Aanholt (who’ll sail in the Laser Radial class, which begins July 30), Liemarvin Bonevacia (who’ll run the men’s 400m on Aug. 4), and Reginald de Windt (who’ll compete in Judo’s 81kg division on July 31). Athletes compete under the Olympic flag if their country does not have a National Olympic Committee. The fourth Independent Olympic Athlete in London, marathoner Guor Marial (who’ll run on Aug. 12), wishes he could represent South Sudan. He hasn’t yet made it to England from Arizona, where he trains.