New Zealand has chosen weightlifter Kanah Andrews-Nahu to be its flagbearer for the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Youth Olympic Games here today.
The 17-year-old from Auckland was informed about the honour by New Zealand's Chef de Mission Barbara Kendall during a special ceremony attended by 100 athletes and support staff.
Kendall claimed Andrews-Nahu, who is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Samoan and Fijian descent, was chosen because her actions epitomise the values and culture of the New Zealand Team.
"Kanah is not only an exceptional athlete but a leader and role model at her school, in her community and in her sport," she said.
"She shows maturity and commitment beyond her years and impresses on a daily basis. She’s also an inspiration to many young Maori and Pacifica athletes.
"It’s my absolute pleasure to present Kanah with the New Zealand flag and name her as the flagbearer.
"She’s the perfect person to lead the New Zealand team into the Opening Ceremony."
Andrews-Nahu began weightlifting at age 13 when she transitioned to the sport from crossfit.
Last month, at the New Zealand National Championships, the teenager broke eight national records in the under-75 kilogram category, taking her total to 135.
In a break from the traditional stadium venue, the Opening Ceremony of Buenos Aires 2018 is due to take place on Avenue de Julio 9th - the biggest avenue in the world, with more than a quarter of a million spectators expected to cheer on athletes from 206 countries in the 360-degree interactive event.
Andrews-Nahu revealed her excitement at being chosen to carry New Zealand's flag.
"I feel very privileged, I feel like a I have fireworks going off in my body, I’m so excited," she said.
"This is such a great team of awesome athletes so I’m extremely proud to be chosen as flagbearer.
"My heart is going to feel extremely full as we march in the Opening Ceremony and I’m really looking forward to representing New Zealand at these Games."