Speed skater Eley named flagbearer for Team GB at Sochi 2014

Thursday, 06 February 2014
By Nick Butler in the Dostoevsky Hall at the Main Press Centre in Sochi

John Eley being announced as flagbearer for the British team at Sochi 2014 ©ITGFebruary 6 - Short track speed skater Jon Eley has been announced this morning as Great Britain's flagbearer for tomorrow's Opening Ceremony at Sochi 2014. 

Eley, 29 and from Solihull,will be competing in his third Olympics in Sochi after finishing fifth and sixth over 500 metres at Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010.

He has also won multiple medals at European Championships and on the World Cup circuit and in 2011 was part of the British 5,000m relay team which broke the world record.

The selection was made by a panel that included Team GB Chef de Mission Mike Hay and team GB Ambassadors, and former Winter Olympic gold medal winners, Amy Williams and Robin Cousins. 

In order to be considered for the honour of flagbearer, an athlete "must exemplify the Olympic Values and uphold the Team GB values".

Eley follows in the footsteps of his Sochi 2014 skeleton teammate Shelley Rudman, who carried the flag at Vancouver 2010.

John Eley training as part of the British team in Sochi earlier this week ©Getty ImagesJohn Eley training as part of the British team in Sochi earlier this week ©Getty Images


"To be representing Team GB for my third time is a great honour and being selected as the flagbearer has made it unbelievable," he said.

"Carrying the flag I hope will not only be a very proud moment for my wife, my family and myself, but also my team-mates across the team - who have all made a massive contribution to my career - and my sport.

"It is an amazing privilege and a moment that I will treasure for the rest of my life, and I plan to use this opportunity to fuel my ambitions in competition and encourage my team-mates to be their best, ensuring that this is just the start of a very successful Games for myself and he rest of Team GB".

Hay said: "Jon is an excellent choice to lead Team GB into the Opening Ceremony in Sochi and we are very proud to have him as our flagbearer.

"Jon understands and embraces the responsibilities that come with being an Olympian and a member of Team GB.

"He leads through his actions and sets a positive example for our entire delegation.

"Jon is widely respected by his teammates across Team GB and he is certainly deserving of this tremendous honour".

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