Saturday, August 11, 2012

Page To Carry Australian Flag At Olympics Closing Ceremony

Australian sailor Malcolm Page has been named to carry the Australian flag into the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics Games on Sunday night. Page created Australian sailing history on Friday when he defended his Beijing 2008 gold, becoming the first Australian to win two sailing gold medals.
Photo: OnEdition
Page, and skipper Mathew Belcher, won the 470 men’s class following a tense medal race in light conditions.

“What an honour. What an incredible honour,” said Page. “I’m a proud Australian and what a way to go out. I announced that this was going to be my last Olympic Games and I was going to be retiring as an athlete so it’s really special. These last four years have been an incredible journey for me, one of the best in my whole sailing life. To top it off with this is really the cream on top of the cake.”

Page said he received an early morning phone call from the Australian Olympic Team’s chef de mission Nick Green.

“I got a call from Nick Green this morning,” said Page. “Obviously I knew that the media was talking about it last night and I guessed I was going to be in the mix for the job and when he called I asked if he was just calling to congratulate me on the medal or if there was more and he cut straight to the chase. I couldn’t think of anything better. It was great to be there with my family at the same time. There were a few tears from my wife and mum. I think it will be a special night tomorrow night.”

The double Olympic gold medallist said that he was looking forward to sharing the moment with his fellow Australian sailors.

“This is my third Olympic Games. I’ve never been to an Opening Ceremony but always to the Closing and there is a real party atmosphere,” he said. “It’s the end of a long cycle for all of the athletes, we sacrifice so much to get to Olympics, some receive the accolades and success of winning medals and achieving their best. Yes it is a party and I look forward to not only representing Australia but the sport of sailing.

“We’ve done so well down in here in Weymouth and I’m insisting that all our team is right behind me and helping to show how to fly that spinnaker so to speak,” he said. “I’ll be putting a call in to Colin Beashel who carried the flag in Athens for some tips.”

Craig Heydon

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