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Tanni Grey-Thompson Welsh flag bearer

25 July 2002

Super wheelchair athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson has been chosen to carry the Welsh team flag at the Games Opening Ceremony.

Image of Tanni Grey-Thompson

“The decision to allow Tanni to carry the flag at the Opening Ceremony honours her achievements as a sportswoman and international delegate for disabled sport,” said Dr Wayne Griffiths, the general team manager of Wales. “She has performed at the highest level with great distinction.”

Grey-Thompson, who has competed at four Paralympic Games, winning nine gold medals in the process, said carrying the flag would be a defining moment in her proud career.

“It’s going to be a very emotional moment for me and I get a bit teary at the thought of it,” she said. “This could be my last chance to compete for Wales and just being part of the Welsh team was going to be wonderful.

“I’ve been to an event at Sportcity with just a few thousand people there and the atmosphere was fantastic. It’s going to be amazing with 38,000 people there.”

Grey-Thompson only been in training for four months since the birth of her daughter, Carys, in February. She will compete in one event at the Games, the EAD 800m wheelchair race.

“It’s been a real struggle training and I’m hoping to win a bronze, but I don’t think that’s very realistic,” she said. “I’m probably two months off competing at my best, but just being here in Manchester at the Commonwealth Games is the most important thing.”

The six-time London Marathon champion also said the inclusion of Elite Athletes with a Disability as part of the main Games programme is a great step forward.

“Being included in the Commonwealth Games gives us the opportunity to showcase what we can do. It also demonstrates how far we have come,” she said.

Info News Service/mb/rb/sdb

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