Marco Grimalt

Chilean beach volleyball player Marco Grimalt was selected among the country’s 51 representatives at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics to be one of the nation’s flag bearers at the Games’ Opening Ceremony.

The 31-year-old Grimalt, who’s part of the country’s most successful beach volleyball team ever with cousin Esteban, will share the duty with shooter Francisca Crovetto.

“I’ll proudly carry our flag representing all Chilean athletes, our volleyball players, our families and the entire Chilean population,” Grimalt wrote on an Instagram post following the announcement. “It’s a great honour and undoubtedly something that was only possible due to the incredible work we have been doing with Esteban and our team for so many years.”

The Grimalts were the first Chilean players to represent their country at the Olympics at the Rio 2016 Games, when they finished 19th. They qualified for the Tokyo Games via the Olympic rankings and are set to make their second appearance at the Olympics.

Marco and Esteban are from a volleyball family and have been the nation’s most successful players in the sport. FIVB World Tour regulars since 2011, they’ve appeared in 80 international events together, winning three gold and two silver medals. The cousins also led Chile to glory at the 2019 Pan-American Games when they won the gold medal.

Marco will be the fifth beach volleyball player to serve as a flag bearer during an Olympic Opening Ceremony joining Brazil’s Sandra Pires and Portugal’s Miguel Maia, who had the honour in Sydney 2000, and Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Mauritius’ Natacha Rigobert at London 2012.

The Chileans are set to compete in this week’s World Tour 4-star tournament in Gstaad, Switzerland, before heading to Tokyo.