February 4, 2022 7:47 AM EST

(Bloomberg)—After the opening ceremony at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, NBC, the official broadcaster of the event in the U.S., reported some viewers were “confused” at the order by which the teams entered.

That’s because the participating teams didn’t enter according to the English alphabetical order, but by the order set in the Japanese language. That meant Iceland entered second after Greece, which always comes first in what’s known as the Parade of Nations as it’s the historical founding nation of the Olympics.

Things get much more complicated at the coming winter games in China, however, as the Chinese language does not have an alphabet. Instead, indexing in the language for the opening ceremony is done according to stroke order, which arranges words based on how many strokes the first character of the word has, and then the order by which the strokes are written—the straight horizontal stroke comes before the straight vertical stroke, for example.

In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, that meant Guinea and Guinea Bissau entered after Greece, as the first character in their simplified Chinese (the system used in mainland China) names have just two strokes. Turkey followed in fourth place, as the first character in its name in Chinese has three strokes.

The host nation enters last, and is preceded by the host of the following games. At the upcoming winter games, that means Italy will march in the penultimate spot. Meanwhile, the Chinese Taipei delegation, as Taiwan is known at the Olympics, will be attending the event, reversing an earlier decision after the IOC said it was required to participate, the island’s Olympic committee said in a statement Monday.

The alphabetical order isn’t set in stone, though. At the winter games in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018, some teams entered out of the order dictated by the Korean alphabet, possibly due to political sensitivities. For example, Iran and Israel were separated by Italy in the opening ceremony against alphabetical order. A spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee said in a statement the decision to alter the order “was taken at the time to reflect the appropriate protocols,” without elaborating.

At the upcoming winter games, Israel, which marched before Japan in 2008 in Beijing, will enter after Pakistan and before Timor-Leste. The Russian Olympic Committee, which, by the same Chinese stroke order, should enter between Bulgaria and the U.S., is marching in earlier before France.

Here is the order by which 91 teams will march in at the Winter Olympics according to a list provided by the IOC shortly before the start of the event.

1 Greece 希腊
2 Turkey 土耳其
3 Malta 马耳他
4 Madagascar 马达加斯加
5 Malaysia 马来西亚
6 Ecuador 厄瓜多尔
7 Eritrea 厄立特里亚
8 Jamaica 牙买加
9 Belgium 比利时
10 Japan 日本
11 Chinese Taipei 中华台北
12 Hong Kong, China 中国香港
13 Denmark 丹麦
14 Ukraine 乌克兰
15 Uzbekistan 乌兹别克斯坦
16 Brazil 巴西
17 Pakistan 巴基斯坦
18 Israel 以色列
19 Timor-Leste 东帝汶
20 North Macedonia 北马其顿
21 Luxembourg 卢森堡
22 Belarus 白俄罗斯
23 India 印度
24 Lithuania 立陶宛
25 Nigeria 尼日利亚
26 Ghana 加纳
27 Canada 加拿大
28 San Marino 圣马力诺
29 Kyrgyzstan 吉尔吉斯斯坦
30 Armenia 亚美尼亚
31 Spain 西班牙
32 Liechtenstein 列支敦士登
33 Iran 伊朗
34 Hungary 匈牙利
35 Iceland 冰岛
36 Andorra 安道尔
37 Finland 芬兰
38 Croatia 克罗地亚
39 Saudi Arabia 沙特
40 Albania 阿尔巴尼亚
41 Argentina 阿根廷
42 Azerbaijan 阿塞拜疆
43 Latvia 拉脱维
44 Great Britain 英国
45 Romania 罗马尼亚
46 Russian Olympic Committee 俄罗斯奥林匹克委员会
47 France 法国
48 Poland 波兰
49 Puerto Rico波多黎各
50 Bosnia and Herzegovina 波斯尼亚和黑塞哥维那
51 Bolivia 玻利维亚
52 Norway 挪威
53 Kazakhstan 哈萨克斯坦
54 Kosovo 科索沃
55 Bulgaria 保加利亚
56 United States of America 美国
57 American Samoa 美属萨摩亚
58 Virgin Islands 美属维尔京群岛
59 Thailand 泰国
60 Netherlands 荷兰
61 Georgia 格鲁吉亚
62 Colombia 哥伦比亚
63 Trinidad and Tobago 特立尼达和多巴哥
64 Peru 秘鲁
65 Ireland 爱尔兰
66 Estonia 爱沙尼亚
67 Haiti 海地
68 Czech Republic 捷克共和国
69 Philippines 菲律宾
70 Slovenia 斯诺文尼亚
71 Slovakia 斯洛伐克
72 Portugal 葡萄牙
73 South Korea 韩国
74 Montenegro 黑山
75 Chile 智利
76 Austria 奥地利
77 Switzerland 瑞士
78 Sweden 瑞典
79 Mongolia 蒙古
80 New Zealand 新西兰
81 Serbia 塞尔维亚
82 Cyprus 塞浦路斯
83 Mexico 墨西哥
84 Lebanon 黎巴嫩
85 Germany 德国
86 Moldova 摩尔多瓦共和国
87 Monaco 摩纳哥公国
88 Morocco 摩洛哥王国
89 Australia 澳大利亚
90 Italy 意大利
91 China 中华人民共和国
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