Michael Phelps has been voted by his fellow Team USA members to be the flag bearer at the 2016 Rio Opening Ceremony on Friday, August 5. This will be a first for Phelps, who has never walked in an Olympic Ceremony before.
This will be Phelps’ fifth Olympic Games. He is the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 22 medals overall, 18 of them being gold.
Phelps released a statement through the US Olympic Committee stating he is “honored to be chosen, proud to represent the US and humbled by the significance of carrying the flag and all that it stands for.”
Phelps will also have the honor of being one of the six team captains for the Team USA swim team. While carrying out his flag bearing duties, he will be sporting a special illuminated blazer by Polo Ralph Lauren. He says that he wants to “represent America in the best way possible” and make his family proud, also adding that “this time it’s about so much more than medals.”