Michael Phelps, who has never walked in an Olympic Opening Ceremony before, will carry the U.S. flag at the 2016 Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday, August 5. He was selected as the flag bearer by a vote of fellow Team USA members. Phelps, set to compete in his fifth Olympic Games, is the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 gold medals, 18 of which are gold.
“I’m honored to be chosen, proud to represent the U.S., and humbled by the significance of carrying the flag and all it stands for,” Phelps said through a U.S. Olympic Committee statement. “For Sydney, I just wanted to make the team. For Athens, I wanted to win gold for my country. For Beijing, I wanted to do something nobody else had done. In London, I wanted to make history. And now, I want to walk in the Opening Ceremony, take it all in, represent America in the best possible way and make my family proud. This time around, it’s about so much more than medals.”
Phelps Named Team USA Flag Bearer For 2016 Olympic
- 2016 Rio Olympic Full Swimming Schedule
- U.S. Olympic Swim Team Captains 2016
- Ryan Lochte beats Michael Phelps in 200m I.M. in US olympic Trials
- WHY Michael Phelps drops 200m free event at US Olympic trials 2016 ?
- Ryan Lochte has failed to qualify for the 400m individual medley
“As swimmers, we don’t really think that we have this opportunity,” Phelps said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show following the announcement. “But I guess the opportunity that I have is a dream come true and one that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
As the flag bearer, Phelps will sport a special illuminated USA blazer created by Polo Ralph Lauren.
Sabre fencer and two-time Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis carried the flag at the 2012 Opening Ceremony in London.