Five-time Olympic medalist Cate Campbell has been named one of Australia’s two flag bearers for the Opening Ceremonies at the Tokyo Olympic Games, as the freestyle sprinter will be joined by basketballer Patty Mills.
Campbell, who will make her fourth straight Olympic appearance for Australia in Tokyo, becomes the country’s first female swimmer to carry the flag, while Mills will be the first Indigenous Australian to do so.
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This year marks the first time the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decreed that one male and one female athlete carry the flag of each nation at the Opening Ceremonies.
However, this won’t be the first time Australia has had dual flag bearers, as distance swimmer Max Metzker and track and field athlete Denise Boyd jointly carried the flag at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow after 23 countries withdrew from the Games following the Russian invasion into Afghanistan.
Campbell becomes the third Australian swimmer to carry the flag, joining Metzker and Andrew Charlton (Los Angeles, 1932).
Campbell won a pair of bronze medals in her Olympic debut at the Beijing Games in 2008, taking third in both the women’s 50 freestyle and 400 free relay at just 16 years of age. The now-29-year-old then won gold at the 2012 Games in London in the 400 free relay, and added two more medals, a gold and a silver, in Rio in the 400 free and 400 medley relays, respectively.
Like Campbell, Mills will represent Australia for a fourth time in Tokyo, having made his Olympic debut in 2008. The 12-year NBA veteran has spent the past 10 seasons playing for the San Antonio Spurs, including winning a league title with the club in 2014.
Campbell is the 10th swimmer expected to carry their nation’s flag in Tokyo: