Women’s basketball champion Lauren Jackson has been announced as Australia’s flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony in London. Jackson is captain of our women’s basketball team the Opals and is attending her fourth Olympics.
Reports are that Jackson’s immediate reaction to being told about the honour was to respond by asking, “why me?” Renowned as a team player in every sense of the word, Jackson’s humility was on show again this morning as she told Australian media that she was “blown away” by the decision.
Jackson was born in Albury and grew up in Canberra, where she trained at the Australian Institute of Sport.
The triple Olympic silver medalist is the first woman to carry the flag for Australia at a summer games Opening Ceremony in 20 years.
And she’s a self described feminist. What a legend.
Congratulations Lauren and best of luck for the Games!
“When Nick called me into his office I thought, initially, that I was in trouble for something I’d done,” she said, still visibly reeling as she spoke to media after nervously practising the swing she will repeat before the eyes of the world tonight.
“But he said ‘No. Can you keep a secret? You’re the flag bearer.’”
Jackson… is a proud feminist but said that an occasion like this was neither the place nor time to be mounting campaigns. For Jackson the story didn’t need subtext to be meaningful.
“Tomorrow night, even tonight, is just the proudest moment of my life, no doubt about it. To be named the leader of the team, and to be able to walk in front of Australia at an Olympic Games is something that I never, in my wildest dreams, would have imagined I could achieve.”
“I can’t think of anything that would ever top this. Obviously a gold medal would be awesome, but I feel like this is something that will never happen again.”
“This moment makes me feel like nothing’s impossible.” Jackson said.
And on that note, we’re happy to add Lauren to our gallery of feminists we admire.
Lauren Jackson, basketballer
You can tune in on Saturday morning from 5.30am to watch the Opening Ceremony and see Lauren carrying the flag for Australia. Mamamia will be live tweeting the event, and we suspect that will be pretty much unmissable – so in case you’re NOT ALREADY, you had better start following us on Twitter: @Mamamia
Who are the female athletes you’ll be watching at the games?