MULTIPLE Olympic track cycling gold medallist Chris Hoy has been confirmed as Team GB’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics Games on Friday, July 27.
Preparing to compete in his fourth Olympic Games, Hoy was also given the honour of carrying the flag at the closing ceremony at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Hoy will be the first cyclist ever to carry the flag at an opening ceremony, and his selection comes after what has been a proud month for the 36-year-old after he carried the Olympic Torch through Manchester last month.
When asked about his appointment as Team GB flag bearer, Hoy said:
“It really is something special and to be able to be there in my role with the home support is a unique experience and I’m just so happy that I have this chance to do it.”
“I remember watching the opening ceremony at Sydney 2000 from our accommodation because we were competing on the second day and just being so excited by it. I really hoped I would get the chance to be involved one day, so to get this opportunity is fantastic.”
While some sports that compete early have chosen to miss the Opening Ceremony, more than 50 per cent of the 542-strong Team GB contingent is expected to march at the event.
Despite British Cycling’s athletes mostly being at their training base in Wales, Hoy will now travel to the capital specially to take part in the Opening Ceremony.
For the first time, Hoy’s fellow Team GB athletes have had a say in his selection. Previously decided by Team GB officials and Team Leaders, their shortlist of nine athletes was then put to the 31 athlete representatives to decide who would carry the flag.
Hoy now enters a select group of Olympic greats who have also carried the flag, including Mark Foster, Kate Howey and Steve Redgrave.
The most successful male in British track cycling history, Hoy has only once finished outside the top five in an Olympic race, and is expected to boost his personal medal tally from four gold medals as Team GB look to beat their Beijing tally.