Basketball player Scola to carry Argentinian flag at Rio

Buenos Aires, April 29 (IANS) Luis Scola, gold and bronze medal winner in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, respectively, will carry the flag for Argentina’s delegation in the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Argentinean Olympic Committee (COA) unanimously elected the well-deserving NBA’s (National Basketball Association) Toronto Raptors player who will celebrate his 36th birthday on Saturday, reports Xinhua.

Argentina’s last basketball player to carry the flag in an Olympics was Emanuel Ginobili who did so in Beijing 2008 where the team went on to win the bronze medal.

The legendary “Maradona” of female field hockey, Luciana Aymar, was the flag bearer at London 2012. This was her last Olympic Games and she won the silver medal with the national team, ending her Olympic career on a high.

Also recently, windsurfer Carlos “Camau” Espinola carried the flag in two consecutive editions, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.

Espinola, along with Aymar, are the athletes who have won the most Olympic medals for Argentina with four each.

Other famous names in Argentina have carried the flag over the years including former tennis star Gabriela Sabatini, the best player in the country’s history. She reached number three in the world ranking and won the silver medal in Seoul 1988, among other successes.

Alberto Zorrilla (swimming), Juan Carlos Zabala (athletics), Delfo Cabrera (athletics) and Carlos Moratorio (horse riding), also all won Olympic medals and carried the South American country’s flag.

Zorrilla, Olympic gold-medal-winner in the 400 meters freestyle in Amsterdam 1928 (the first South American to win in that category), carried the flag in Los Angeles 1932. However, due to a disagreement of a monetary nature with Argentina’s political authorities at the time, the swimmer decided to abandon the team and not compete.

Zabala, was the Olympic marathon champion in Los Angeles 1932 and he was flag bearer in the following Games in Berlin where he finished 6th in his category.

Cabrera (gold in London 1948) led out Argentina’s delegation in Helsinki 1952 while Moratorio (silver in Tokyo 1964) was the flag bearer four years later in Mexico.

–IANS

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