It’s a big deal, being the Olympic Flag Bearer. According to Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller: "There's several people who fulfil the criteria... it's also upholding the values of what we stand for and it's someone who the rest of the team will respect as a team captain and lives and breathes those Olympic values."
“It's more than just carrying a flag around a 400-metre track.”
We couldn’t agree more. So we decided to look at some of the favourites for the job, taking into account a hugely important facet: Instagram game.
The Sensible Choice: Anna Meares (Cycling)
Pros: Posts plenty of inspirational pics. Is very supportive of other athletes (her profile includes tribute posts to Lauren Jackson and Caroline Buchanan). Has a super cute puppy.
Cons: She already has a street named after her, which is pretty much peak honour. Does she really need another allocade for the trophy cabinet? Come on Anna, share it around.
The Slight Chance: Sally Pearson (Athletics)
Pros: Frequent Insta poster. Also possess a cool dog. Boasts a pair of the best pins in sport, plus she’s used to leading the pack on the athletics track, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch. With how often she wins, Sally is also an old hand at carried at flag.
Cons: Getting her to slow down may be an issue - once she gets a sniff of the finish line, we may see Pearson streak away down the straight, leaving the rest of the squad in her wake. Also - she’s coming back from a broken wrist, and we know a big part of being flag bearer is the ability to give it a twirl and a flick. We don’t need her wing taking any more weight than it needs to.
The Leader of the Chase Pack: Emma Moffatt
Pros: Plenty of posts of her training hard, which is what you want to see from a leading athlete. But...
Cons: Moffatt is all business - while we love that she’s the ultimate professional, her social media game has a bit to be desired. Insta posts are few and far between; we need more material to be able to fully assess her swag levels.
The Smokie: Lisa De Vanna (Football)
Pros: Already captain of the Matildas, so she knows how to lead from the front. Strong side pony game. Met Ronaldo and kept a cool poker face, so you know she’d be chilled af at the ceremony.
Cons: Very new to the Instagram game - her first post was only six weeks ago, meaning she’s very late to the Instagram party. We need our flag bearer up the front and leading the way, so they have to be a trend setter. As a result, she only has 930 followers - which is only slightly more than the amount of people she’ll have following her in real life.
The Duo: Edwina Tops-Alexander (Equestrian)
Pros: Tops-Alexander and her horse would make one hell of a regal, majestic entrance. Who wouldn’t be inspired, being lead into the first day of battle by an Aussie legend on a rad horse, giving the Scots in the GB team a taste of their own Braveheart.
Cons: Tops-Alexander and her horses are a package deal, as her Instagram proves. Is a horse allowed to be part of the opening ceremony? Neigh, probably (sorry). Also, it’s a serious gig, we wouldn’t want the mane stars horsing around too much (double sorry).
The Most Unprecedented: The Entire Opals Squad (Basketball)
Pros: The combined swag levels are through the roof - there’s something about being a basketballer that just makes you cool. Would be a chance for extra team building after recent *cough* issues *cough* between certain players. Plus they’re all really tall, so no one would have any issues spotting the flag from the back of the pack.
Cons: There is zero chance this will happen.
The Most Suited To The Job: Kim Mickle (Javelin)
Pros: Getting a gig in this list because she would have zero problems raising a giant stick in the air - that’s part of her job. Has the ability to switch it up and walk on her hands instead, just for something different.
Cons: Her bio reads: “I chuck things.” She’s a liability to fling said giant stick as far as she could, purely out of habit.