Flag bearers named for Innsbruck 2012 Youth Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
Friday, 13 January 2012
January 13 - The 70 nations attending the inaugural Youth Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck have named their flag bearers for the Opening Ceremony tonight at the Bergisel Stadium.
Britain have announced freestyle skier Katie Summerhayes (pictured right) from Sheffield as the flag bearer and the 16-year-old was presented with the Union flag at the Athletes' Village by Team GB Chef de Mission Sir Clive Woodward (left) following a vote by all 24 athletes in the Team GB delegation.
"I am super happy to be selected to carry the flag for Team GB at the Opening Ceremony, especially as it was voted for by my teammates," said Summerhayes.
"It really adds something special to the whole Youth Olympic experience for me.
"To be the first Team GB flag bearer at the first ever Winter Youth Olympics is a dream come true.
"I'm proud to be representing Team GB and proud to be British.
"I can't wait to get out there and give it my best shot in the halfpipe on Saturday."
The United States, who are set to be one of the strongest medal contenders at the event, have named bobsledder Jake Peterson from Minnesota as their flag bearer for the Ceremony at the Zaha Hadid designed venue.
"Just thinking about carrying the flag of the United States of America gives me goose bumps," said the 17-year-old Peterson.
"I'm thrilled by this honour, grateful to my teammates for selecting me and proud to represent Team USA and the US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation."
Australia have selected 16-year-old alpine skier Greta Small (pictured) as their flag bearer and she admitted that she was thrilled at the news.
"I was really shocked when Alisa Camplin [the Australian Chef de Mission] asked me and then really happy when it sunk in," Small said.
"It has been a dream of mine for so long to represent Australia and march in an Opening Ceremony.
"Being named as flag bearer has already made this Olympic experience amazing."
Freestyle ski star Beau James will carry the flag for New Zealand after the 17-year-old was selected by New Zealand Chef de Mission Peter Wardell.
"On top of Beau's results competing he is a true leader and mentor amongst his peers and a well-respected individual," said Wardell.
"Beau is a very friendly and approachable personality with plenty of time for all other competitors.
"As the flag bearer, Beau will be someone that all the New Zealand youth athletes can look to for leadership and inspiration no matter their sport."
Meanwhile, Canada's Corryn Brown (pictured), a 16-year-old curler, was the first Innsbruck 2012 Opening Ceremony flag bearer to be named after being announced last week by her country.
Snow is forecast for the Opening Ceremony at the inside historic Bergisel Stadium – which was also home to the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies and ski jump competitions.
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January 2012: Curling starlet Brown to carry Canadian flag at Innsbruck 2012 Opening Ceremony