South African hockey goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande and decorated Olympian of all time Chad le Clos, are set to fly the SA flag at the Tokyo opening ceremony in Japan.
The two were announced to represent South Africa in the opening ceremony by South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee(SASCOC) on their official website. It’s for the first time for both Phumelela and Chad, to lead the Olympic team in an Olympics opening ceremony.
The previous flag bearers in Rio de Janeiro was Wayde van Niekerk in the closing ceremony. But in 2020 the traditional ways of Olympics changed due to covid-19 as the International Committee announced that each country should appoint one male and female to fly their country flag in the opening ceremony.
Chad le Clos is a South Africa’s most praised and decorated swimmer of all times who has won more than 10 world championships including the Olympics. After being honored by SASCOC, he later went to his social media and posted a picture of himself wearing a South African T-shirt, with a caption “what an incredible honor, I will remember this forever, just been named flag bearer along with Phumelela. Nothing makes me prouder than to lead team SA into this Olympics thank you very much and God bless”.
Phumelela is South African field hockey player and vice-captain. She participated at the 2018 women’s world cup in London. According to Gold Coast 2018 she once said her ambition is to win “Medal at the Commonwealth Games, and to be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team.” (Athlete, 23 Feb 2018).
Both athletes have shown the expression through their social media platforms what it means to them to be part of this wonderful night in the world of sports.