The United States Olympic Committee announced this morning that Lopez Lomong was selected as the flag bearer for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team during the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games on Friday, Aug. 8. Lomong, who trains with Air Force cross country coach John Hayes, will be competing in the 1500-meter run at the Games.
"This is the most exciting day ever in my life," Lomong said. "It's a great honor for me that my teammates chose to vote for me. The opening ceremony is the best day and the best moment of Olympic life. I'm here as an ambassador of my country and I will do everything I can to represent my country well."
Lomong was chosen for the prestigious honor on Wednesday night, after the U.S. captains from every sport met in the Athlete Village to nominate, discuss and vote for the one athlete who will lead America's contingent of athletes into the 90,000-seat Bird's Nest Stadium. He will be the 13th athlete from track and field to carry the American flag during the opening ceremonies.
"If you know Lopez, you can imagine the honor he feels right now to represent our country and the emotion he'll have on Friday evening," Air Force track and field coach Ralph Lindeman said.
The first round of competition for the 1500-meter run is slated for 5:10 a.m. (MST) on Friday, Aug. 15, with the semifinals (Sunday, Aug. 17) and finals (Tuesday, Aug. 19) to follow.