18 year old Nada al Bedwawi, the first female Emirati Olympic swimmer, has been chosen to be the flag-bearer for the UAE at the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She will be the second female athlete to be the UAE flag-bearer in history.
At a press conference held by the UAE National Olympic Committee this past Sunday, Al Bedwawi admitted that the announcement came as a surprise. In an interview with Sport360, she said that ““I’m very shocked and I’m very excited and I’m really thankful for their trust in me to be the nation’s flag-bearer, . . . I didn’t know who was going to carry the flag, I thought it was going to be Sheikh Saeed (Al Maktoum). I was reading an article that asked ‘will there be a female flag-bearer this year, or not?’ It’s just amazing, I’m the first female swimmer and now I’m the flag-bearer too. It’s such an honour.”
The first time Olympian will be competing in the 50 freestyle in Rio. She is one of four women, 13 athletes in total, that make up the UAE‘s Olympic team.
Below is a list of other swimmer Olympic flag-bearers that we have reported on thus far:
- Federica Pellegreni – Italy
- Vahan Mkhitaryan – Armenia
- Stephanie Au – Hong Kong
- Ous Mellouli – Tunisia