Reuters Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Aug 04, 2016, 05.49 PM
Table tennis player Timo Boll will carry the German flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympics, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) announced today.
Thirty-five-year-old Boll, taking part in his fifth Olympics, was announced as flag bearer at a news conference in the German House in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"It's a great feeling. I had to let it sink in first of all. I will definitely enjoy it when we go into the stadium. It's certainly a highlight of my career," Boll said.
Boll was chosen for the role through a public vote, in which more than 300,000 people took part.
He will carry the torch at the ceremony in Rio on Friday (August 5).
"I have no idea what it will feel like but everyone I've spoken to who has already done it says it is a special moment and I will try to remember this," he said.
He was informed of the decision on Wednesday (August 3) evening and said he called home immediately to tell his family the news.
"We are all really happy and I'm trying to enjoy this moment but will need to come back down to earth very quickly because it will soon be time for the sport but I'll try to take some of this euphoria with me," Boll said.
Boll won silver in Beijing in 2008 and bronze in London in 2012.
He is the most successful German table tennis player, making him the best ambassador for the German team, the President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation said.
"As President I can say that Timo Boll is the ambassador, not just the flag bearer, but the trademark ambassador of the team, of Sport Germany here in Rio. We couldn't have wished for better," Alfons Hoermann told journalists today.