Tonight, specially selected service personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force will raise the Union and Olympic flags at the spectacular London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. A select team of 16 tri-service personnel will raise the flags before a global audience of billions.
Meticulous preparations for this prestigious honour took place at HMS Collingwood in Hampshire earlier this month. Personnel from all three Services were trained in the delicate art of flag raising, as well as drill refresher training and rigorous inspections of their ceremonial uniform.
In total, 176 individuals from all three services have been chosen for the privileged role of flag bearers at more than 100 Team Welcome and 805 Victory Ceremonies across the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the Opening Ceremony.
One of those chosen to represent the Royal Navy is Warrant Officer John Hiscock QGM RM, from Epsom, Surrey. Across 26 years services in the Royal Marines, John has served in Northern Island, Sierra Leone and Iraq and is a recipient of the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions on Operation Telic. He said:
“It is an immense privilege to represent the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on home soil at such a prestigious global event. The opening ceremony is a unique opportunity to highlight the significant contribution made by the UK Armed Forces both at home and overseas.”
26 year old Platoon Sergeant Kyle Reains from Dundonald, Belfast serves with 1st Battalion Irish Guards. He proved his dedication and bravery on operations when wounded in Afghanistan when he prioritised the evacuation of other injured troops before himself. Defying the prognosis that he may never run again, Kyle is training for a marathon and preparing for the Army Cross Country Skiing Championships. He said:
“To be chosen to represent Great Britain and the British Army at the Olympic Games is a huge honour. I am proud to participate in the headline Olympic event, showcasing the British forces on behalf of all UK personnel deployed on operations around the world.”
Royal Air Force Sportswoman of the year Flight Lieutenant Rachael Cadman from Oban, Scotland, has excelled in extreme endurance sports. Rachael completed the notorious Enduroman Arch to Arc triathlon, running 87 miles from London before swimming the English Channel and finishing with a 185 mile cycle to Paris. She said:
“The feelings of excitement and pride in representing my country and the Royal Air Force at the Olympics opening ceremony are enormous. It is an immense privilege to be chosen to fly the flag on behalf of all UK Servicemen and women.”
On 8 March 2012, LOCOG announced the involvement of personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force as flag bearers for the Team Welcome and Victory Ceremonies at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Personnel were selected by their Service because they have a strong sporting connection, have excelled on operations or have strong links within their communities
16 service personnel were specially selected from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force to raise the Union and Olympic flags at the Games opening ceremony. The Union Flag is raised at the start of the ceremony and the Olympic flag is raised at the end.
Team Welcome Ceremonies are designed to formally welcome the athletes and team officials to the Games. 100 Team Welcome Ceremonies will take place on the days leading up to the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
There will be a total of 805 Victory Ceremonies across the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Victory Ceremonies take place after a medal event finishes: after the awarding of medals the flags of the gold, silver and bronze medal – winning athletes countries are raised while the national anthem of the country or territory of the winning athlete is played.
Images of the training sessions can be accessed via the Defence News Imagery website, www.photos.mod.uk Images for use in news reporting can be accessed via a temporary log-in. Username: GuestUser Password: WhiteBoard.
Further information on the Olympic Games can be found on the LOCOG website www.london2012.com