The canoeist Saul Craviotto and the swimmer Mireia Belmonte, with eight Olympic medals, will be the flag bearers of the Spanish team at the inauguration ceremony of the Tokyo Games, next July 23.
The Board of Olympic Federations of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) met this Wednesday at the headquarters of the organization and unanimously approved the appointment of both athletes to lead the team’s parade at the opening party of the Games.
The COE thus welcomes the new regulations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which for the first time allows two flag bearers, as long as they are a man and a woman.
For both, those of Tokyo 2020 will be their fourth Olympic Games. Each of them has won four medals.
Saul Craviotto (Lleida, 11/3/1984) was proclaimed Olympic champion of K2 500 in his first Games, those of Beijing 2008, together with Carlos Pérez. Four years later, in London 2012, it was silver in the K1 200. In Rio 2016 it added two more metals, gold in K2 200 with Cristian Toro and bronze in K1 200.
In Tokyo, he will be part of the K4 500 with Marcus Cooper Walz, Carlos Arévalo and Rodrigo Germade. The Spanish K4 is runner-up in the world, so Craviotto is a candidate to add one more medal in the Japanese capital.
Mireia Belmonte (Badalona, 11/10/90) debuted as an Olympian in Beijing 2008 when she was only 17 years old. His first medals, two, came in London 2012, each silver in 200 m butterfly and 800 m freestyle. In Rio 2016, she fulfilled her dream of being an Olympic champion with her victory in the double hectometer butterfly. It was also bronze in the 400m styles. For Tokyo 2020, it is classified for the moment for the 800 and 1,500 m freestyle.
“It is an honor, even more so being the third woman in the history of the Summer Games to carry that flag. It was time for a woman to do it again, because it had been so many years and it is a fact that must be borne in mind. We women are in a very good moment, but we have to keep working and fighting, “she said. Belmonte after designation. “I have never been to an inauguration, for me it is all new. I do not know very well how it will be, but whatever the important thing is to enjoy it,” he added.
Today is going to be a very special day. 🔜🇪🇸
Good Morning! 😊 pic.twitter.com/mil0AYXeDT
– Spanish Olympic Committee (@COE_es) May 12, 2021
Other candidates to be flaggers of the Spanish team were the weightlifter Lydia Valentin, who has a gold, a silver and a bronze, or the marcher Jesus Garcia Bragado, without medals but that in Tokyo will play its eighth Games, an unprecedented figure in world athletics.
The IOC changed its rules this year to require at least one male and one female on all Olympic teams and to “encourage” all national Olympic committees to nominate one athlete of each sex to carry the flag properly. joint at the opening ceremony. Thus, he said, it would send “a strong message in favor of gender equality.”
Spain has only had two flag bearers so far: Cristina de Borbón (to sail) in Seoul 1988 e Isabel Fernandez (judo) in Athens 2004.
Craviotto and Belmonte will succeed the tennis player on the list of Spanish flag bearers Rafael Nadal, which was in Rio 2016.
Flag bearers of Spain at the Summer Games
Antwerp 1920: Javier Bartrina Costa (doctor and secretary of the COE), although the COE attributes the position to Mariano Arrate Esnaola (football), who was actually the one who carried the Spanish poster at the inauguration.
Paris 1924: Félix Mendizábal (athletics).
Amsterdam 1928: Diego Ordóñez (athletics)
London 1948: Fabián Vicente del Valle (boxing)
Helsinki 1952: Luis Omedes (Rowing)
Rome 1960: Jaime Belenguer (gymnastics)
Tokyo 1964: Eduardo Dualde (hockey)
Mexico 1968: Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (sailing)
Munich 1972: Francisco Fernández Ochoa (skiing)
Montreal 1976: Enrique Rodríguez Cal (boxing)
Moscow 1980: Herminio Menéndez (canoeing)
Los Angeles 1984: Alejandro Abascal (sailing)
Seoul 1988: Cristina de Borbón (sailing)
Barcelona 1992: Felipe de Borbón (sailing)
Atlanta 1996: Luis Doreste (sailing)
Sydney 2000: Manuel Estiarte (water polo)
Athens 2004: Isabel Fernández (judo)
Beijing 2008: David Cal (canoeing)
London 2012: Pau Gasol (basketball)
Rio 2016: Rafael Nadal (tennis)
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.