Only 1 swimmer carried her nation’s flag at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Bahamian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, but with about a third of the 71 participating nations having announced who will carry their country’s standard in Wednesday’s Parade of Nations, already 2 swimmers have been named.
Carlin, who was born in England, represents Wales through her parents’ heritage. She’s spent most of her professional career training in Swansea, over 10 years, to validate her Welsh representation. 2018 will be her 4th Commonwealth Games representing Wales, a run that has included 4 medals – including her first gold, in the 800 free, in 2014. She and Georgia Davies won Wales’ only 2 gold medals in swimming in 2014, and accounted for 2 of the nation’s overall 5 gold medals.
Representing the broader country of Great Britain, she is a 4-time European Champion (one gold each in the 400 and 800 free in long course and short course), and won 2 medals at the 2016 Olympic Games – finishing behind Katie Ledecky in the 400 and 800 freestles.
25-year old Sophie Pascoe, meanwhile, will carry in the flag for her home country of New Zealand. Pascoe is a 3-time Paralympian who has won 9 Paralympic gold medals – 3 each in 2008, 2012, and 2016 – in the S10/SM10/S9 classifications. Her 15 overall Paralympic medals makes her New Zealand’s most-decorated Paralympian. She’s also a 12-time World Champion, and at the 2014 Commonwealth Games won both the SB9 100 breaststroke and SM10 200 IM. She currently holds 12 World Records, including 4 in long course:
- S10 50 fly – 28.38
- S10 100 fly – 1:02.60
- SM10 200 IM – 2:24.90
- SM10 400 IM – 5:23.67
2010 was a ‘banner’ year for swimmers in the Parade of Nations. That year, 6 swimmers carried flags, including 2012 Olympic champion Cameron van der Burgh who led the South African delegation in; and two-time Olympic medalist David Davies, who led the Welsh contingent.