London Olympics | Maria Sharapova to be Russia's First Female Flagbearer
Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:01

Maria Sharapova

Former tennis world number one Maria Sharapova will be Russia's first female Olympic flag-bearer at the London Games later this month, the national Olympic committee confirmed.

President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov told reporters following the ROC's executive board meeting,

"Sharapova will carry our flag," She was the most worthy candidate among all our athletes. 

Russia broke with tradition by naming Sharapova, who also won Wimbledon (2004), U.S. Open (2006) and Australian Open (2008) titles, for the rare honor.

Since the Russians first took part in the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki as part of the Soviet Union this great honor was traditionally given to famous male athletes such as Greco-Roman wrestler Alexander Karelin and swimmer Alexander Popov, who have won numerous Olympic titles.

"I am so honored, and especially excited as it will be my first Olympics in my career when she first heard the news about her nomination last month.

"I have had to keep this hush hush for two weeks and keeping secrets is not my best quality!"

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev both sent congratulatory telegrams.


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