Sharapova Will Become First Russian Woman To Carry Olympic Flag
The Russian Olympic Committee confirmed that tennis player Maria Sharapova will be Russia's "first female Olympic flag-bearer" when she carries her country's flag at the London Games, according to REUTERS. ROC President Alexander Zhukov said, "Sharapova will carry our flag. She was the most worthy candidate among all our athletes. In June she claimed her fourth grand slam title." On her website Sharapova wrote: "I am so honored, and especially excited as it will be my first Olympics in my career" (REUTERS, 7/10).
TAKING A PASS: GAZETA ESPORTIVA reported that Wimbledon champion Roger Federer has "rejected the invitation" to be Switzerland's flag bearer at this summer's Games. Federer has already performed the duty at the 2004 Athens Games and the 2008 Beijing Games and believes that the Switzerland Olympic Committee should look for other athletes from the country. Federer: "They offered, but I thought I would give the opportunity to another athlete" (GAZETA ESPORTIVA, 7/10).
DIVING IN: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Mahtani & Fernandez wrote in the Southeast Asia Real Time blog that the Olympic Committee of Malaysia has selected female diver Pandela Rinong as the country's flag bearer. It will be the "first time in its history Malaysia has afforded a female athlete." Rinong was named the country's sportswoman of the year in April for the first time (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/9).