SPORT

Australia's Rio Olympics Flagbearer Is Cyclist Anna Meares

She's a two-time gold medalist and all-round legend.

06/07/2016 7:16 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST
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Stefano Rellandini / Reuters
Anna Meares is the defending cycling sprint champion.

Cycling gold medalist Anna Meares will be Australia's flagbearer in the Rio 2016 Olympics opening ceremony.

The defending sprint champion won gold in London and also in Athens while in Beijing, she was recovering from a broken neck band still won silver. She's also been depicted in an Archibald Prize finalist portrait and was Australia's flagbearer at the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

While the role is traditionally announced on the games eve, Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller made the announcement at a chilly Federation Square in Melbourne on Wednesday morning, saying Meares was "the epitome of what our team represents -- respect humility and excellence".

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Meares was Australia'€™s flag bearer during the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Meares said she was humbled and honoured.

"For me, a country girl, a coal miner's daughter, to become the second cyclist in history to be flag bearer for this country leaves me very emotional and proud.

"When you look at history, there have been very few Olympians, fewer Olympic champions and again, fewer flag bearers.

"I dreamt of being an Olympian, of being an Olympic champion but never contemplated being a flag bearer.

"Of all of things I have achieved and I have done, carrying the flag for Australia is the greatest honour."

Australia's Olympic Flagbearers

Australia's Olympic Flagbearers
2014 Winter Alex Pullin -- Snowboarding
2012 Summer Lauren Jackson -- Basketball
2010 Winter Torah Bright -- Snowboarding
2008 Summer James Tomkins -- Rowing
2006 Winter Alisa Camplin -- Freestyle skiing
2004 Summer Colin Beashel -- Sailing
2002 Winter Adrian Costa -- Freestyle skiing
2000 Summer Andrew Gaze -- Basketball
1998 Winter Richard Nizielski -- Short-track speed skating
1996 Summer Andrew Hoy -- Equestrian
1994 Winter Kirstie Marshall -- Freestyle skiing
1992 Summer Jenny Donnet -- Diving
1992 Winter Danny Kah -- Speed skating

You'll notice famous Olympians Ian Thorpe and Cathy Freeman were not flagbearers. Chiller previously told The Courier Mail the flagbearer role was for team players who could lead.

"I want them to be a leader of the team," Chiller told The Courier Mail.

"It is not just carrying a flag around the track for 400m. They are going to be team captain.

"Traditionally longevity has played a big part in it. That is one part but it is certainly not the primary part of it for me.

"It is someone who exhibits the values we are trying to exhibit and to be a great role model for sport in general.''

The Rio Olympics begin on August 5 and Australia's team size is currently 410.

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