Opening ceremony: Flag-bearers - who to see from other nations

 

Tonight's spectacular opening ceremony of the London Olympics will be performed in front of a full house in the Olympic Stadium. Here is our guide to the flag-bearers.

Ireland: Katie Taylor (Boxing)

The current Irish, European, and world women's lightweight champion, and also a member of the Irish women's football team, Taylor will be the first female boxer to carry her nation's flag.

Italy: Valentina Vezzali (Fencing)

She is the most decorated Italian female athlete of all time, who has won five Olympic golds in various fencing events.

Malaysia: Pandelela Rinong (Diving)

The 19-year-old won bronze in the 10m synchro platform dive at the 2009 World Championships, and will serve as her country's first female flag-bearer.

Nicaragua: Michelle Richardson (Chef de Mission)

The Nicaraguan-born swimmer won silver for the United States at the 1984 Games after the Sandinista Government rejected her request to swim for her native country.

Russia: Maria Sharapova (Tennis)

Carrying the Russian flag on her Olympic debut, Sharapova has won each of tennis's four Grand Slam tournaments.

Serbia: Novak Djokovic (Tennis)

Until recently the world No 1, he has won five Grand Slams, is a three-time Australian Open champion, and won the men's bronze at the 2008 Olympics.

Singapore: Feng Tianwei (Table Tennis)

Currently ranked eighth in the world among women, she helped Singapore win their first Olympic medal as an independent nation in 2008: silver in the team competition.

South Africa: Caster Semenya (Athletics)

Following her women's 800m win at the 2009 World Championships, Semenya's gender was subject to scrutiny and testing from the IAAF. She was cleared to run in 2010 and won silver in the women's 800m at the 2011 Worlds.

Spain: Pau Gasol (Basketball)

The Los Angeles Lakers star was chosen to replace Rafael Nadal, who pulled out of the Games with an injury. Gasol has won two NBA championships, Olympic silver in 2008, and is considered a basketball hero in his home country.

US: Mariel Zagunis (Fencing)

Chosen over many other high-profile American athletes, she is a chasing a third gold medal in women's individual sabre, having won at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones