Prisilla Rivera (DOM)

Dominican Republic national team captain Prisilla Rivera will have an additional responsibility at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after the veteran outside hitter was selected to be one of her nation’s flag bearers during the Opening Ceremony.

The 36-year-old Rivera, who will become a three-time Olympian, was selected by the Dominican Olympic Committee and will share the honour with boxer Rodrigo Marte.

“This is a great opportunity and something that makes me really happy,” she said when the announcement was made. “I’ve carried my country’s flag around the world for 20 years, so to be honoured with this selection, it means a lot. I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about it and any word I could possibly pick to say how I’m feeling right now wouldn’t make justice to it. I couldn’t have been born in a better country.”

Rivera was part of the Dominican roster at both the Athens 2004 and the London 2012 Games. She has been part of her country’s national team since 2001 and has been the captain for several years.

During her time with ‘Las Reinas del Caribe’ (The Queens of the Caribbean, in Spanish), she helped the team secure the bronze medal at the 2009 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup and victories at the 2003 and 2019 Pan-American Games and at the 2009 and 2019 NORCECA Championships.

Rivera is the second volleyball player named as flag bearer for the Tokyo Olympics. A London 2012 Olympic champion, opposite Maxim Mikhalyov will carry the flag for ROC at the opening ceremony of the Games.