Ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, track cyclist Anna Meares has been announced as the Australian Olympic team captain and opening ceremony flag bearer.
Sharing the news on Wednesday morning, chef de mission Kitty Chiller said Meares was “the epitome of what our team represents: respect, humility and excellence.”
Rio will be Meares’ fourth Olympic appearance, having won gold and bronze medals at Athens, silver at Beijing and gold an bronze once more at London.
The 32-year-old also holds a staggering 11 world records.
“Of all the things that I have achieved and I have done, carrying the flag for Australia is the greatest honour,” Meares said.
“This athlete is a roll model to many – across all sports and in the community,” Chiller said, adding that Meares is “already an inspiration to Australia, and I know will take on this role with a commitment and passion that has been the hallmark” of her 22 years of cycling.
Following the announcement, Meares told Sunrise that while she has known for some time, the announcement is still a shock, adding, “I’m incredibly proud, I’m incredibly humbled.”
Competing in three events at the 2016 Rio Olympics – the team sprint, sprint and the keirin – Meares returns to the Games as the defending sprint champion, 12 years after winning her first Olympic gold.
The 2016 Rio Olympics run from August 5 to 21.