Zagunis will carry U.S. flag into Olympic ceremony
Beavertons Mariel Zagunis was selected Wednesday to carry the U.S. flag into Fridays Summer Olympic opening ceremony in London.
The Olympic gold medal-winning fencer was chosen for the honor by a vote of the 529-member 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.
Im extremely humbled by this incredible privilege, Zagunis said. As an athlete, I cant imagine a higher honor than to lead Team USA into the Olympic Games, which are the pinnacle of sport and a platform for world peace. I am tremendously proud to represent my sport, our team and, most importantly, the United States of America.
U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun said carrying the flag was a tremendous honor.
Its especially fitting in the year of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, when Team USA for the first time in history has more women than men, that Mariel receive the extraordinary honor that is carrying our nations flag into this celebration of humanity, Blackmun said.
Zagunis is the third fencer to carry the U.S. flag into the Olympic ceremony. Norman Armitage carried the flag in both 1952 and 1956. Janice Lee Romary held the honor in 1968.
She will defend her title Aug. 1 in the Olympic sabre competition.
Zagunis was the first U.S. fencer to win gold at an Olympic Games in 100 years when she took the top medal in 2004 Athens. She is the top-ranked womens saber fencer in the world and earned a second gold medal in Beijing before winning world championship titles in 2009 and 2010. Last year, she added seven international medals, including silver at the world championships and gold at the Pan American Games. So far this year, Zagunis has earned eight international medals.