Sailor star Beashel to carry flag - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sailor star Beashel to carry flag

By Sharon Labi 12/08/2004 06:26:20 AM Comments (0)

Sailing veteran Colin Beashel will have the honour of carrying the Australian flag when he marches in a record sixth Olympic Games opening ceremony in Athens.

The 44-year-old veteran sailor has been named by Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates as the nation's flag bearer at a team reception for the ceremony on Friday night.

The announcement came after the Australian team was officially welcomed into the athletes' village and a performance by popstar Delta Goodrem.

The modest shipbuilder from Sydney's northern beaches came out of retirement to contest his sixth Olympics in Athens but said carrying the flag was an unexpected honour.

"It would obviously be an honour to do that," Beashel said this week before being named.

"But when I decided to have another go this time around it was solely that we thought we were good enough and if something like that happened it would be a great honour."

Beashel was chosen ahead of equestrian Andrew Hoy, chasing a fourth team gold medal at his sixth Olympics and shooter Michael Diamond, chasing three successive individual gold medals at his fourth games.

Defending archery champion Simon Fairweather, who is competing at his fifth Games, was also considered a chance.

Hoy carried the flag at the opening ceremony in Barcelona in 1992 and only one Olympian has carried the flag twice - rower Mervyn Wood, in Helsinki and Melbourne.

Although Beashel has an impressive collection of medals and trophies, he has failed to win that elusive Olympic gold since his first Games in Los Angeles two decades ago.

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