With just one day to go until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games open, ParalympicsGB has confirmed that Lee Pearson CBE, one of the team’s most decorated and experienced athletes to compete in Brazil, will carry the flag for Great Britain in the Opening Ceremony.
Pearson has won 12 Paralympic medals including 10 gold since he made his Paralympic debut at Sydney 2000. He won a hat-trick of gold medals in the team, individual and freestyle events in Sydney, Athens and Beijing; his success at London 2012 brought his total medal haul to 10 gold, one silver and one bronze.
Pearson was nominated for the honour in a vote by his fellow athletes from the 19 sports that make up the ParalympicsGB team.
Speaking today, Pearson said:
“I am so proud and honoured to be the flagbearer for such a talented, strong and passionate group of British athletes.
“Being a diverse character myself has meant that being voted by the athletes themselves has made this moment even more special.
“I genuinely feel that we are among the best prepared and supported athletes at the Paralympic Games and I can’t wait to lead my fellow team mates from ParalympicsGB into the stadium in a day’s time – I hope I don’t get blown away!”
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe said:
“Lee has been a cornerstone of our equestrian team since he first made his debut in Sydney and has played a key role in establishing Great Britain as a leading Paralympic nation in the sport.
“I was delighted to inform him that he has been chosen, with the backing of his peers in Rio, to take the role of flagbearer in the Opening Ceremony, and the team will be proud to march out behind him. I hope it is one of many memorable moments that he will take away from this Games, and wish him all the very best in his upcoming competition.”
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games open on Wednesday September 7 and will come to a close on Sunday September 18.