An emotional Anna Meares has accepted the honour to captain the Australian Olympic team ahead of the Rio Games.
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) July 5, 2016
“Of all the things I have achieved and that I have done, carrying the flag for Australia is the greatest honour,” the champion cyclist said at the official announcement at Melbourne’s Federation Square.
In the mix with 32-year-old Meares was two-time rowing Olympic medallist Kim Brennan, veteran Kookaburra Jamie Dwyer and racewalker Jared Tallent.
Ahead of the announcement Meares said that she would be lost for words if bestowed with the honour.
“Just to have my name in the mix, there are some truly incredible athletes in the team already and that in itself is a huge honour,” Meares told The Advertiser yesterday.
A dual Olympic gold medallist, carrying the Australian flag into the stadium for the opening ceremony at the Rio Olympics will cap a brilliant career for the cyclist.
Meares is regarded as one of the greatest track riders in history, winning two Olympic gold medals and 11 world championship gold medals, as well as five Commonwealth Games titles.
It’s the seventh time a female athlete has been named as the Australian team flagbearer at an Olympic Games and Meares joins Raelene Boyle (1976), Denise Robertson-Boyd (joint flagbearer in 1980), Jenny Donnet (1992), Alisa Camplin (2006 Winter Games), Torah Bright (2010 Winter Games) and Lauren Jackson (2012).
Meares made her Olympic debut in Athens 2004.