Olympic champion Hannah Mills says being named as a flagbearer for Team GB at Friday’s opening ceremony of Tokyo 2020 is the greatest honour of her career.
She was named alongside rower Moe Sbihi, who won gold in the coxless four in Rio and bronze in the men’s eight in London.
It’s the first time that nations have been allowed to nominate one female and one male athlete as flagbearers. Mills will be the first female British sailor to carry the Union flag at an Olympics opening ceremony.
Mills won gold at Rio 2016 and silver at London 2012 in the 470 class alongside Saskia Clark, and will now go for gold with teammate Eilidh McIntyre.
McInytre, with whom Mills won the 2019 470 World Championship, will share the moment with her teammate as one of just a handful of British athletes who will march behind the flagbearers tomorrow evening.
The announcement by Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England was met by rapturous applause from Mills’ fellow athletes.
“Getting to carry the flag for Team GB at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games is not a sentence I ever thought I’d say,” said Mills, from Cardiff.
“When Mark told me I had been chosen, it was completely overwhelming and when I had a moment to think about what it meant I got pretty emotional.”
“It is the greatest honour in my career and I hope more than ever before, this Games can lift our country and deliver some incredible sporting moments to inspire the nation.”
Mills and Sbihi were selected from a group of athletes nominated to Team GB by sports.
The nominees were chosen by their respective sports as athletes that exemplify the Olympic Values and uphold the Team GB values of pride, responsibility, respect and unity.
Racing starts on Sunday July 25 with men’s and women’s RS:X windsurfing plus the Laser and Laser Radial singlehanders, and concludes on August 4 with the medal races for the men’s and women’s 470.