Historic first as Australian surfer competes wearing Aboriginal flag

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-20 10:34:55|Editor: Liangyu
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SYDNEY, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Australian surfer Soli Bailey has become the first person ever to wear the Aboriginal flag at a top level sporting competition, sporting the symbol of indigenous Australia alongside the country's traditional flag.

The 23-year-old is currently competing at the World Surfing League (WSL) qualifiers at Sydney's Manly Beach alongside surfing greats like Kelly Slater, before turning his attention to the 2019 season opener in the state of Queensland.

Bailey comes from the Yaegl people on his mother's side, who originally occupied a large part of the mid-east coast of Australia.

"As much as I was super excited to represent Australia and what we stand for, it was also an opportunity for me to show some love, and show a bit of my culture," Bailey told Australian television.

In the past, the WSL has allowed surfers from Hawaii to wear their state flag, as well as that of their country, and said that they wholeheartedly support Bailey in representing his culture.

"We are really proud to see surfers honoring their heritage," said WSL regional manager Will Hayden-Smith.

"I just think it's really cool for them to get behind me and doing what I love," Bailey responded. "I'm an indigenous Australian going to compete against the world."