LONDON (Reuters) - Usain Bolt is going to get plenty of attention at the London Olympics but he was delighted to get the chance for a little more exposure after being named as Jamaica’s flag bearer for the opening ceremony on Thursday.
“I would like to inform you that our flag-bearer for the Olympic opening ceremony will be doctor, the honorable Usain Bolt,” Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Mike Fennell made the announcement with a flourish at the start of the news conference.
Bolt was thrilled at the prospect of leading the team out on Friday.
”Carrying the flag is an honor,“ he said. ”For my country I would do anything because I love my country. Couldn’t live anywhere else.
“To be on TV, to be singled out at the opening ceremony, it’s kind of great and I‘m looking forward to it tomorrow.”
Bolt became one of the biggest names in sport after winning gold medals in the 100 meters, 200m and 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympics four years ago, all in world record times.
The 25-year-old’s aura of invincibility has faded a little this year but his defense of the 100m title in particular is expected to be one of the highlights of the Games.
The blue riband sprint takes place on August 5, the eve of the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence.
“Everyone wants a win and would love to see a world record to say happy birthday to Jamaica,” said Bolt. “I look forward to saying happy birthday to Jamaica.”
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Justin Palmer and Pritha Sarkar