For the first time again in 20 years, a woman athlete, in the person of triple silver medallist Lauren Jackson, has been declared to lead the Australian team and carry its flag in this year's opening ceremony of the Olympics Game in London.
Lauren Jackson, honored to be chosen as Australia's flag bearer
A feat most heralded was well deserved.
Australian chef de mission Nick Green issued the announcement at the official team reception just outside Olympic Park and in view of the main stadium.
The captain of the Australian women's basketball team is the daughter of two national basketballers. A star in her own right, she first played for the Opals at age 16, and has actually played in leagues around the globe. She has been a star for Australia for over a decade.
Firstly astonished, her initial reaction when Mr Green told her the news was why chose her.
"I didn't really buy into it," she was quoted by ninemsn.com
Eventually, she regained composure and finally got to collect back again her full senses.
"I can't think of anything that would ever top this. Obviously a gold medal would be awesome, but I feel like this is something that will never happen again. This moment makes me feel like nothing's impossible," she said.
When asked why he chose Jackson to lead the Olympics Team from Down Under, Mr Green said that he saw in the 31-year-old star basketballer the very composure everyone needed to see in a high-flying athlete.
"You are an outstanding leader," Mr Green told Jackson. "You are an inspiring and high-achieving woman. You are already a three time Olympian who has won three silver medals, and I like the way you've conducted yourself while playing at the top level of your sport internationally."
"To me, Lauren is an unassuming athlete with wonderful leadership qualities on and off the court," Mr Green said.
Jackson is the first Australian woman after 20 years to wave the Australian flag after diver Jenny Donnet during the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
"I'm not sure how it will change my life," Jackson said, "but I think it's definitely going to impact on the way that I see things."
"And to my 409 fellow Australian competitors, let's enjoy it. These are the greatest days of our lives," she told her player-comrades.
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