Rio Paralympics 2016: Lee Pearson to carry Great Britain's flag at opening ceremony
By Jim Fitzpatrick
Last Updated: 07/09/16 8:55pm
Ten-time Paralympic champion Lee Pearson has been named as Great Britain's flag bearer for Wednesday's opening ceremony of the XV Games in Rio.
The 42-year-old equestrian rider from Staffordshire won three golds at each of the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Paralympics.
He also won team gold at the London 2012 Games, plus one silver and one bronze.
Pearson was nominated in a vote of his 263 ParalympicsGB team-mates, competing across 19 of the 22 sports, to carry the flag at the Maracana Stadium.
"I am so proud and honoured to be the flag bearer for such a talented, strong and passionate group of British athletes," said Pearson, who was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, meaning his limbs were twisted and have very little muscle.
"Being a diverse character myself has meant that being voted by the athletes themselves has made this moment even more special.
"I genuinely feel that we are among the best prepared and supported athletes at the Paralympic Games and I can't wait to lead my fellow team-mates from ParalympicsGB into the stadium in a day's time - I hope I don't get blown away."
ParalympicsGB chef de mission Penny Briscoe said: "Lee has been a cornerstone of our equestrian team since he first made his debut in Sydney and has played a key role in establishing Great Britain as a leading Paralympic nation in the sport.
"I was delighted to inform him that he has been chosen, with the backing of his peers in Rio, to take the role of flag bearer in the opening ceremony, and the team will be proud to march out behind him.
"I hope it is one of many memorable moments that he will take away from this Games, and wish him all the very best in his upcoming competition."
The first of 11 days of competition takes place on Thursday and the Games run until September 18.