Murray to carry flag for Britain at Rio opening
Reigning Olympic and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will be the flagbearer for Britain at the opening ceremony for the Rio Games, it was confirmed on Wednesday.
Murray, who triumphed at Wimbledon for the second time last month and won gold in London four years ago, is the first tennis player to lead Britain into an opening ceremony.
“To represent your country at the Games is an unbelievable experience, but to lead out Team GB will be an incredible honour, the biggest in sport,” said Murray, 29, the world number two, adding that he was “very proud”.
“This is my third Olympic Games and it is a very special competition for me. I obviously have great memories of London and I am 100 percent focused on winning here in Rio.
“The privilege of being the flagbearer is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life and will certainly be one of the highlights of my career.”
The final selection of Murray was made by a panel headed by Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England, after Britain’s athletes also had their say.
Decorated track cycling champion Chris Hoy led the British team out on home soil at London 2012.
“The conviction with which Andy spoke to me about the honour of carrying the flag only underlined why he is such an exceptional individual, and absolutely the right choice,” said England.
The choice of Murray to be the flag-bearer was hailed by his long-time rival and world number one Novak Djokovic who performed the same duty for Serbia at the London Olympics in 2012.
“It’s absolutely deserved,” said Djokovic.
“He is a globally recognized tennis player and athlete who has done so much for Great Britain.
“He’s won the Davis Cup and gold at the Olympics. He cares about playing for his country.”