Lauren Jackson named as Aussie Olympic Team flag bearer
A stunned Lauren Jackson, asked “why me?” when told she had the honour of carrying the Australian flag in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
A STUNNED Lauren Jackson, asked “why me?” when told she had the honour of carrying the Australian flag in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
One of the world’s greatest basketballers was told by the Australian Chef de Mission, Nick Green, that she was a “perfect choice” for the job.
But the emotional 31-year-old Jackson blurted: “Why me? There are other candidates better than me.”
“When Nick called me into his office I thought, initially, that I was in trouble for something I’d done,” she said in a media conference just after the announcement.
“But he said ‘No. Can you keep a secret? You’re the flag bearer.’”
Green is confident he’s got the right person for the job.
“To me, Lauren is an unassuming athlete with wonderful leadership qualities on and off the court,” Green said.
“She has all the qualities I admire in a leader and that is the person our Team needs as a captain here in London. She is admired by her teammates and respected by her opponents.
“I have watched her play for many years. She has a never say die attitude, a trait that I admire very much,” Green said.
Both Jackson’s parents played basketball for Australia so it is no surprise she started playing the game at the age of four.
She debuted with the national team at age 17 and has been a member of the Australian team which has won silver at the past three Olympic Games, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
Home is Albury, New South Wales, but as one of the world’s best ever players she entertained crowds across the globe. She has won WNBA Championships in 2004 and 2010, Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards 2004, 2007 and 2010 and a World Championship with the Opals in 2006.
Green also highlighted that the Flagbearer is also the Team captain.
“Jackson is an inspiration to all our Team, there is no one better to lead our Team as we attempt to mix it with the superpowers of sport here in London.”
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