Michael Phelps will carry the US flag into the opening ceremony of his final Olympics

Getting to carry your nation’s flag into the arena during the opening ceremony during the Olympics has regularly been seen as one of the highest honours, and now, America’s greatest Olympian will have that honour.

Michael Phelps will finally walk in the Opening Ceremony after skipping the last 3 to rest up for the 400m individual medley, which takes place the following day.

According to ESPN, Phelps wants to do it because, “this time around, it’s about so much more than medals.”

“For Sydney, I just wanted to make the team,” Phelps said. “For Athens, I wanted to win gold for my country. For Beijing, I wanted to do something nobody else had done. In London, I wanted to make history. And now, I want to walk in the Opening Ceremony, take it all in, represent America in the best possible way and make my family proud.”

Phelps holds the world record for most gold medals with 18 and most overall with 22. Phelps will be just the second swimmer to ever be flag bearer for the U.S. after Gary Hall bore it in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

Interestingly, as the flag bearer, Phelps will be wearing a special jacket that will illuminate during the opening ceremony.

#TeamUSA will sport the first-ever illuminated Olympic Flag Bearer jacket by @RalphLauren at #Rio2016! ???? pic.twitter.com/fHram8xceG
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) July 29, 2016


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