Italian superstar Paola Egonu has been selected as one of the athletes to carry the Olympic Flag at the Opening Ceremony of the delayed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Friday.
Paola Egonu to carry Olympic Flag at Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony
"I will parade for every athlete on this planet," said the 22-year-old star
Published 12:45, 20 Jul 2021
The president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni Malago, called Egonu, 22, to convey the good news as he arrived in the Japanese capital ahead of the Games.
"I am very honoured by the assignment that was given to me to be part of the IOC to carry the Olympic Flag," said Egonu after the announcement. "I am very excited since President Malago informed me, because I find myself representing athletes from all over the world and it is a big responsibility. I will represent and parade for every athlete on this planet."
The news comes a day after Egonu scored 13 points in a friendly match against Brazil in Japan, in preparation for the Olympics, leading Italy to a 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 25-22) win.
Italy open their Olympic campaign on Sunday at 09:00 local time (00:00 GMT) against Russia in the very first match of the women's tournament at Ariake Arena.
It will be the second Olympics for Egonu, who made her debut at the age of 17 at the Rio 2016 Games.
Meanwhile, seven other volleyball players have been announced as flag bearers for their respective countries at the Parade of Nations segment of the Opening Ceremony:
China's Zhu Ting, Kenya's Mercy Moim, South Korea's Kim Yeon Koung, Tunisia's Mehdi Ben Cheikh, the Dominican Republic's Prisilla Rivera, Brazil's Bruno Rezende and Maxim Mikhaylov, competing under the Russian Olympic Committee flag.
Chile's Marco Grimalt is the only beach volleyball player announced so far as flag bearer.
Friday's Opening Ceremony begins at 20:00 local time (11:00 GMT).