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Scotty James named Opening Ceremony Flagbearer

8 February 2018

PYEONGCHANG 2018: Snowboard Halfpipe World Champion Scotty James has been named Australian flagbearer for tomorrow night’s PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony.

Given the prestigious honour from Team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman, James will lead the Australian delegation into the Olympic Stadium in what are likely to be pleasant conditions in the Korean snow city.

The 23-year-old from Warrandyte in Melbourne who will compete in his third Olympic Games in a matter of days could not hide his excitement.

“I am absolutely overwhelmed and honoured to have been given the opportunity to carry the Australian flag,” James said.

“Especially at this Olympic Games where I am accompanied by such an outstanding Team full of amazing athletes it is extra special.

“When Ian told me I was immediately lost for words. This Team has so many awesome athletes in it to even be considered was exceptional.

“From a young age I’ve always wanted to do it and now I will have the chance.”

Alongside fellow 2017 World Champion Britt Cox, James was given the opportunity to wear the green and gold at Vancouver in 2010 as a spritely 15-year-old looking for experience more than for a medal.

These days James is revered as not only a global superstar but also as a leader amongst his peers on the Australian Team. He now hopes he can lead by example both on and off the snow. 

“Carrying the flag is a great responsibility and I will be flying our flag at the Opening Ceremony but also throughout the Games.

“We all want to show the world just how amazing we can be and I’m going to use the energy I get from being the flagbearer to urge me on even more in my competition.

“I competed at my first Games when I was 15 and walking into that stadium this amazing feeling comes over you and you realise why you put in all the hard work.

“I haven’t tried to think too much about what that moment will be like tomorrow but I’m focused on not getting the flag all tangled when I’m waving it.”

Chesterman has been leading the Australian Team since the 1998 Nagano Games and knows a flagbearer when he sees one.

“Scotty James is an exceptional athlete that epitomises that Australian fighting spirit whenever he goes out to represent his country.

“He is a very proud Australian and now at his third Games is a leader amongst this Olympic Team.

“I know Scotty will do his country proud tomorrow night and throughout these Games both on and off the snow.”

James claimed the 2017 World Championship crown in Sierra Nevada, Spain, and has just continued to grow in confidence ever since.

Duelling with Shaun White in December, James’ run was recognised as one of the most progressive in history before ‘The Flying Tomato’ dropped in and scored a perfect 100.

James then turned it up again to claim X Games silver less than a fortnight ago as Japan’s Ayumu Hirano pipped him for the gold.

He will be one of 91 athletes to carry the flag out onto the soon-to-be hallowed grounds of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Stadium on Friday night (AEDT).

You can follow all the coverage of the Opening Ceremony, and the rest of the PyeongChang 2018 Games, live and free on Channel 7.

The Opening Ceremony starts at 10pm AEDT.

Matt Bartolo

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