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7 August 2008, 08:49 am
Flash Quotes: Flag Bearers And Special Representatives
Nikolas KAKLAMANAKIS lights the Olympic Flame in Athens
Nikolas KAKLAMANAKIS lights the Olympic Flame in Athens

2008 Beijing Olympic Games
Qingdao, China

Comments from Nikolas KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE), Robert SCHEIDT (BRA), Roman HAGARA (AUT), Alexander FOGLIA (URU), Barbara KENDALL (NZL), and Sophie BEKATOROU (GRE).
Nikolas KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE) - Mistral Gold medallist in 1996, Mistral Silver medallist in 2004

On lighting the Olympic Flame at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games:

"It was the biggest moment in my life apart from sailing. I was the first Greek to light the torch and I may be the only one in my lifetime. It was a nice 'thank you' to me, but it was also a nice 'thank you' to sailing. Sailors are often alone when they get the gun or receive an award. We had the whole world watching us at that moment."

Robert SCHEIDT (BRA) - Laser Gold medallist in 1996 and 2004, Laser Silver medallist in 2000

On being presented with the Brazilian flag by the President:

"It was quite emotional. Usually, they do not announce the flag bearer until right before the Opening Ceremony. It is very special to have a flag presented to me directly from the President and so far in advance of leaving for China."

Roman HAGARA (AUT) - Vying for his third Olympic Gold medal with the same crew, Hans Peter STEINACHER

On Hans Peter STEINACHER (AUT) being the flag bearer:

"I'm already so famous in Austria, so now it's his [Hans-Pieter STEINACHER's] turn."

Alejandro FOGLIA (URU) - The only sailor from Uruguay

On being the Flag bearer for Uruguay:

"Not only am I the flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony in Beijing, I am the flag-bearer in Qingdao also. There are not very many Uruguayan athletes competing. I was selected because of my commitment to the sport. Unfortunately, I was supposed to receive the flag from the President, but I had to leave for China the same day."

Barbara KENDALL (NZL) - Five-time Olympian and winner of gold, silver and bronze medals

On being the first woman to parade her country's colours at the Opening Ceremony:

"It is announced only a couple of days before the Ceremony and it is quite an event. These days, the flag bearer is robed in a Maori chief's cloak when the announcement is made."

Sofia BEKATOROU (GRE) - 470 Women gold medallist in 2004

On being asked to carry the flag:

"When I declined, they asked me if I would consider being the flag bearer at the Closing Ceremony. I suggested that the honour should go to someone who wins a medal during the Games. It is a great motivator for our Yngling team to win a medal."
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