ATHENS, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Greek sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou was named Greece's flag bearer for the upcoming 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games, the Hellenic Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday in Athens.
Bekatorou thereby becomes the first female athlete in Greek Olympic history of to have the honor of carrying the Greek national flag in an opening ceremony, the statement added.
In 1908, in the London Olympics field athlete Nikolaos Georgantas became Greece's first ever flag bearer, while in the 2012 London Olympics it was Taekwondo athlete Alexandros Nikolaidis who carried the flag.
The decision about Bekatorou was made unanimously, the statement said.
Bekatorou, 38, won the gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics and the bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
She had first participated in Olympic Games in 2000 in Sydney. In Rio she will compete in the Nacra 17 class along Michalis Pateniotis.
A total of 90 Greek athletes have qualified so far for the Rio Olympics.
"It is a great honor for me, it is a special honor since I am the first female flag bearer for Greece. I have taken part in three Olympics in three different classes and I feel that this is a vindication for my efforts all these years," Bekatorou said.
"I am also glad that despite problems so far 90 athletes have secured their participation in the forthcoming Olympic Games and I am sure that they will all do their best," she stated.
The six-year Greek debt crisis has also affected sports and Greek athletes in recent years are forced to prepare for the Games with less means compared to the past. Enditem