Maddie Meyer/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Why Aren't They Calling The Countries' Names At The Closing Ceremony? It's A Symbol of Unity

Ad failed to load

The Olympics is full of fierce competition but, at its culmination, it's a time for just the opposite: The closing ceremony is a display of solidarity, and it showcases international unity as athletes from across the globe gather in the same stadium, representing the world coming together as "one nation." And they aren't aren't calling out the countries' names at the closing ceremony, possibly as a symbol of that unity.

The theme for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea closing ceremony is "Next Wave," and it looks towards the future, according to the Olympics website. It's a future for all the participating athletes, regardless of their origins.

In the opening ceremony of all Olympic Games is the Parade of Nations, in which each national team is formally introduced and walks behind their designated flag bearer. Fans keep watchful eyes for their favorite athletes, and they root for their countries with pride. At the closing ceremony, the host country's national anthem precedes the Parade of Flags. The Greek flag is always carried out first, since Greece is home to the Olympics' roots, and the host country's flag is carried out last; all the other flags appear in alphabetical order, according to the International Olympic Committee. The athletes immediately follow the flag parade, but not this time. During the closing ceremony, the athletes aren't actually separated by country; rather, all the athletes enter the stadium together as one, according the International Olympic Committee. It's symbolic of exactly what the Olympics is all about: world unity.

Ad failed to load

The United States Olympic Committee recently announced that cross-country skier (and PyeongChang gold medalist) Jessie Diggins would be carrying the flag on behalf of Team USA at the closing ceremony. Fans will have to look for the rest of the American athletes in a pretty big crowd, so I'd suggest looking out for their hats, which will have the American flag on them.

Thanks to the vision of the Olympics founder, Pierre de Coubertin and the efforts of past and present host city organizers, the ceremonial aspects of the Olympic Games set them apart from other international sports competitions.

Ad failed to load

"The protocol and splendor of the Olympic ceremonies, which go hand-in-hand with the celebration of the Games as everyone knows them today, make this event a unique and unforgettable festival," reads the closing ceremony facts sheet by the International Olympics Committee.

Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The athletes walk en masse and in no particular order during this parade, according to the committee, before taking their seats reserved for them in the audience. A young Chinese man and apprentice carpenter in Australia, JohnIan Wing, proposed having all the athletes parade in no order at the 1956 Games in Melbourne. Before those Games, the athletes had always marched behind their flag-bearer, and now they march together as one.

Ad failed to load

"It [has] a festival atmosphere to recognize and celebrate the athletes’ hard work and achievements at the Games," Jang-hwan, director of ceremonies for the PyeongChang 2018 organizing committee, wrote in an article on the official Olympics website. "We have created a show that looks towards the future."

While all the countries haven't been named in the closing ceremony, there will be one country particularly celebrated: Japan. This year’s Olympic torch, which was lit back in October in ancient Olympia, Greece, to honor the birthplace of the Olympics Games, will be passed on to Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics, TIME reported. The 2020 Winter Olympics will then be held in Beijing, China, and it will be the first Winter Olympic Games ever to be held in the country.

While the Olympics closing ceremony is bitter sweet, the passing of the torch will symbolize hope for all the Olympians mixed in the crowd. They'll look forward to their futures, bringing their home countries — and the world — pride again in four years.

Ad failed to load

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

5 Parenting Habits That Increase Your Chances Of Successfully Potty-Training Your Child

From starting solids to learning to walk, every childhood milestone presents its own unique set of challenges — but this is especially true of potty training. Indeed, the very thought strikes fear into the heart of many a toddler parent, particularly…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Getting Pregnant Might Mean Losing The Plus-Size Body I Love

For the last two years, I haven’t been my body’s biggest champion. I’ve gained 50 pounds. The stress of helping a parent get sober, a house purchase, and a new job got the best of me. But now, at 36, with talks between my husband and I about having a…
By Loren Kleinman

7 Hilarious Differences Between Having A Baby In Your 20s Vs Your 30s

I was 24 when I had my daughter. And even though that pregnancy was neither expected nor pleasant, I was optimistic. Sure, I guess your 20s are "supposed" to be about finding yourself, finishing college, starting your career, and navigating less-than…
By Candace Ganger

Babies "R" Us Was The First Place I Went When I Found Out I Would Be A Mom

For years I struggled to have a baby, and the sight of toys and layettes made my heart hurt. For me, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us were a complete no-go zone, a reminder of everything I was missing out on. My mom would walk the long way around Target…
By Becky Bracken

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger