Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold has been selected as Team GB Flagbearer for the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. She will lead the country’s 59 athletes, competing across 11 sports, into the Olympic Stadium tomorrow (9 February) to mark the start of the Games in South Korea. Lizzy received support from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), managed by SportsAid, between 2009 and 2012.
The 29-year-old was Team GB Flagbearer for the Closing Ceremony four years ago in Sochi. She is aiming to make history by becoming the first British athlete to retain their Winter Olympics crown. Lizzy and Laura Deas, a previous beneficiary of SportsAid and TASS support, will also be looking to extend Team GB’s run of winning skeleton medals in every Olympics since Salt Lake City in 2002.
Lizzy won gold in Sochi with a record margin of 0.97 seconds in Sochi while also registering two track records and the fastest down time in each of the four runs. She followed up Olympic success with an overall World Cup season win, a European Championship title and a World Championship crown before taking a season away from the ice and returning to the circuit last year.
“My first reaction when I was asked to be Flagbearer was complete excitement,” said Lizzy. “Being Flagbearer at Sochi felt like a real celebration whereas this time around it’s a completely different responsibility. This could be the start of something really special and I hope the other athletes aren’t too far behind me as we’re very much one team going into these Games.”
Mike Hay, Team GB Chef de Mission for PyeongChang 2018, said: “As a defending champion and model athlete, Lizzy is the ideal choice to lead Team GB into the Olympic Stadium tomorrow. She has achieved so much in skeleton over the last four years and I’m sure this will be another proud moment for one of our finest winter athletes."