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Rowing

Britain to have first-ever Muslim flag bearer at the Olympics opening ceremony

2016 Olympics gold medallist Rower Mohamed Sbihi going to script history by becoming the first Muslim flag bearer of Great Britain

Great Britain Opening Ceremony Flag Bearer
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Mohamed Sbihi with the flag of Great Britain (Source: BOA) 

By

Kalptaru Agarwal

Updated: 2021-07-23T12:20:11+05:30

Olympics work to bring world diversity together at one platform encouraging peace and the spirit of the games. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize awardee who is about to receive the Olympic Laurel also stated how the Olympic movement works to bring nations together quoting the example of North and South Korea at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. He also went ahead to say that the Olympic movement deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for their contribution in that field. Another such historic moment is about to be scripted as the Rio gold medallist rower from Great Britain, Mohamed Sbihi will become the first Muslim ever to carry the British flag at an Olympic Opening ceremony.

Joining him will be sailor Hannah Mills, another gold medallist who campaigns for clean oceans. As per IOC's decision allowing nations to nominate one female and one male athlete to be the flag bearer, it will be the first time that two competitors will be carrying their national flag. Sbihi was thrilled on hearing his name nominated as the flag bearer as he said,

"It is such an honor. It is an iconic moment within the Olympic movement - people remember those images. I certainly remember the images of Andy from Rio and even before I was a rower I remember seeing Sir Matt and Sir Steve, so it is something I am incredibly proud of."

Moments like these define the career of Olympic athletes and while Mohamed Sbihi is already an Olympic medallist, being to the closing ceremony but heading the team at an opening ceremony will be a lifetime memory for him.

Sbihi was also the first practicing Muslim to row for Britain before he won the medal. He also bagged the bronze medal as a part of the British crew in the eight at rowing at the 2012 London Olympics. The multiple world champion Moe Sbihi is going to script a revolution as he hopes that this will inspire a generation of Muslim youngsters to follow his example. He himself was inspired by fellow Muslim athlete Mo Farah, the most successful British track runner.

Sbihi Training at GB HQ at Caversham (Source: Benedict Tufnell )

"To know I'm the first person of Muslim faith to have the role, it's a very proud moment. I've always said we want more Muslims representing our country and hopefully, this will start that process of getting young Muslim kids involved in all different types of sports - especially rowing," said the Rio Olympic Gold medallist.

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