Roberts to carry British flag in Paralympic closing ceremony
SEPTEMBER 16 - SWIMMER Dave Roberts (pictured) will carry the flag for the British team at the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Beijing tomorrow, it was announced today.
The 28-year-old from Pontypridd won his fourth gold medal of the Beijing Games on Sunday night to equal the 11 won by fellow Welsh athlete Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Roberts said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be chosen to carry the flag at the closing ceremony.
“Beijing has been a fantastic experience for me and to achieve my goal of winning four gold medals is incredibly satisfying.
"But to be given the huge honour of carrying the flag for such a successful ParalympicsGB team is overwhelming.
"Having missed the opening ceremony this will be my first experience of the amazing atmosphere in the Bird’s Nest and it is going to be a very special moment.”
Phil Lane, the Chef de Mission for Britain's team, said: “Dave Roberts has undoubtedly been one of the stars for ParalympicsGB in Beijing, just as he was in Athens.
"His achievements speak for themselves and he is not only a great ambassador for Paralympic sport but also a huge inspiration to the rest of the team.
"There have been some superb performances by many GB athletes in these Games but no-one is more worthy than Dave to carry the flag for the team.”
Roberts, who in addition to his 11 Paralympic gold medals also has three silvers and a bronze, made his Games debut in Sydney in 2000.
He won his first gold of the Beijing Games - the men’s S7 100 metres freestyle in a Paralympic record of 1min 00.35sec on day two of the Games before then also winning the men’s S7 400m freestyle in world record of 4:52.35, men’s S7 50m freestyle in a Paralympic record of 27.95 and the 4 x 100m freestyle relay in world record of 3:51.43.
The closing ceremony takes place at 8pm tomorrow and will feature an eight-minute handover ceremony from London 2012.