Snowboarder Torah Bright will carry the Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony of the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.The 23-year-old will be competing in her second Olympic Games following a 5th placing in Torino in 2006.
Australian Olympic Team Chef De Mission Ian Chesterman made the announcement at the official team reception this evening (Canadian time) in Vancouver.
“Torah Bright is a terrific athlete and a wonderful leader and is befitting of this honour,” Chesterman said.
“Carrying the flag at the Opening Ceremony is a very tangible way the Olympic Team can honour someone.
“Torah is greatly respected by her fellow team members and well liked by other international competitors.
“It was an agonising decision in some ways because this is the best credentialed Australian team to ever participate in a Winter Olympic Games.
“What has impressed me the most is that those people I have spoken to about this have all responded the same way – ‘Torah is an outstanding choice’.
Bright is a three time World Superpipe champion (06, 07, & 08) and in 2009 she claimed her second Winter X Games title (previously won in 2007). She also took out a World Cup gold medal in Switzerland.
She is one of the most recognisable and popular athletes across the international competitors in Vancouver.
The crowd and her teammates cheered when Chesterman made the announcement.
“I don’t really know how to put this feeling into words,” Bright said.
“This is an incredible honour and a privilege to be the Australian flagbearer at the Olympic Games and I just wish every one in the Team could carry this flag with me.”
“It is actually so special to be holding our nations flag as we walk out into the Olympic arena. I just want to wish everyone the best of luck and to go out there and do your personal best which is what it’s about.
“Good luck everybody,” Bright said to her teammates.
The honour will be extra special for Bright as she will be able to share this with her brother and coach Ben.
“I said the other day that I got an enormous buzz out of wearing the team uniform in Torino and it’s been the same here. I compete in an individual sport but wearing the colours of your country is quite an emotional experience.”
Bright who went to primary school with fellow 2010 Olympians Ramone Cooper and Ben Sim joked about them putting their little country town Cooma ‘on the map’.
LiveBlog commentary of Olympic events, follow Torah’s event live!
Source – AOC