Lizzy Yarnold to carry GB flag at Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Lizzy Yarnold
Lizzy Yarnold

Lizzy Yarnold insists she will relish the honour of leading Great Britain out at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics on Friday despite the predicted plunging temperatures in Pyeongchang.

The defending Olympic champion will become the second British skeleton athlete to lead Great Britain out at a Winter Games after Shelley Rudman performed the role in Vancouver in 2010.

Yarnold and the rest of the 59-strong GB team will be equipped with special down-insulated jackets with a temperature threshold of -40 degrees, as well as salopettes and fleece-lined beanie hats.

Yarnold said: "I am hugely honoured to be flag bearer. I have been flag bearer in a closing ceremony in Sochi and that was really cool, but that was a celebration of an amazing Games.

"I've got to make sure I stand tall and represent GB. It's something I'm used to doing sliding on the competitive field but in a ceremonial moment it's really exciting and something I never thought would happen.

"We have loads of thick layers and massive jackets and as Winter Olympic athletes we always go out with salopettes and gloves so I'm not concerned about the cold - it's good to come here and have freezing cold ice."

Yarnold, who also carried the flag at the closing ceremony in Sochi, is relishing her role as a comparative underdog going into her second Games after a relatively unimpressive World Cup season.

Fourth place in the final race of the regular campaign in Konigssee last month set her back in the right direction after a series in which she often found herself finishing behind Great Britain team-mate Laura Deas.

Yarnold added: "Some athletes thrive in big moments and I am one of those, but it is quite nice to be the underdog sometimes, and to come in to the Olympics after an up-and-down World Cup season."

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