Melissa Perrine and Mitchell Gourley will carry the Australian flag in Beijing ©Australian Paralympic Committee

Australia have chosen Alpine skiers Mitchell Gourley and Melissa Perrine to carry the country's flag into the National Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games tomorrow (Friday).

"Mel and Mitch are almost an institution in this team. The longevity they’ve had in their careers is amazing. Both started in Vancouver in 2010," said Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin.

"Mitch is incredibly well respected within the international snow sports community in the Para space." 

Gourley was born with a shortened left forearm.

He is competing in his fourth Paralympic Games.

"You don’t set out with the goal to be a flagbearer, you set out to be the fastest skier you can be," Gourley said.

"That’s always been my goal and been Mel’s goal too - to lead by example and push the envelope in terms of what we can do, how professional we can be and how far we can push the sport."

Gourley will travel back after the Opening Ceremony to compete the following morning in the downhill.

"I’m never going to get the opportunity again to ski 130 kilometres an hour down a hill with the whole thing closed and perfect safety netting from top to bottom," Gourley said.

"I might as well take that chance. It’ll be a bit of a shorter sleep, that’s all."

Visually impaired Perrine has competed alongside Gourley for the last 15 years and won two bronze medals at Pyeongchang 2018.

"Mel’s an inspiration to the other athletes, not just because of the way she goes about her skiing but also the way she’s been able to balance her life with international skiing," McLoughlin said.  

"For a young athlete, to see how they can mix elite sport and also have a path for when they’ve retired, it’s pretty impressive and something I know they all look up to."

Although the Australian team managers have given all members of the team the option to march Alpine skiers Sam Tait, Patrick Jensen and Amelia Hodgson have opted not to do so. 

Para-snowboarder Ben Tudhope, who is staying at the Paralympic Village at Zhangjiakou will also miss the Opening Ceremony at the Bird's Nest.