Mariel Zagunis has been named the U.S. flagbearer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Here, Zagunis celebrates a win in the individual sabre final at the Pan American Games last year.
Mariel Zagunis, the two-time gold medalist in sabre, has been named the U.S. flagbearer for Friday’s Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Zagunis, who was chosen by her peers for the honor, will be the first fencer to carry the flag since 1968, when Janice Lee Romary led the U.S. team in Mexico City.
“I’m extremely humbled by this incredible privilege,” Zagunis said in a statement on the Team USA site. “As an athlete, I can’t 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.”
In 2004, Zagunis became the first American fencer to win Olympic gold in 100 years. Her parents are former Olympians, having competed in the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal.
In an interview with NPR’s Tom Goldman earlier this year, Zagunis, a Beaverton, Oregon, native, called sabre fencers the “punk rockers” of the fencing world.