Tokyo Paralympics: Ellie Simmonds and John Stubbs to carry GB flag

Archer John Stubbs (left) and swimmer Ellie Simmonds (right)
Stubbs (left) and Simmonds (right) both made their Games debut at Beijing 2008
Venue: Tokyo, Japan Dates: 24 August-5 September Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Follow on Radio 5 Live and on the BBC Sport website

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds and archer John Stubbs will carry the Great Britain flag at Tuesday’s Tokyo Paralympics opening ceremony.

Both athletes will be competing in their fourth Games in Japan.

Simmonds, 26, will be the first woman to carry the flag for GB at a summer Games since fellow swimmer Maggie McEleny in 2000.

Stubbs, 56, is the oldest member of the GB team and will be the first archer to fulfil the role in recent history.

“I’m hugely honoured to carry the flag on behalf of all the athletes, support staff and for the entire nation back home,” said Simmonds, who has won eight Paralympic medals, including four golds, since making her debut at Beijing 2008 aged 13.

“To go the Paralympic Games and be given the opportunity to do that is just amazing.

“This will be my first opening ceremony. Just to be here in Tokyo is amazing but to carry the flag is the icing on the cake and I can’t wait for the competition to start.”

Stubbs, who won gold in the individual compound event at Beijing 2008 and silver in the mixed team compound eight years later in Rio, described his nomination as “incredibly emotional”.

“It’s an absolute honour to be representing ParalympicsGB as flag bearer alongside Ellie,” he said.

“For any elite athlete to go to the Games and be bestowed this honour is a privilege. Words can’t describe what it means to me.

“It’s been a torrid year – unfortunately I lost my Dad in January. He was my biggest fan, and hopefully if he’s looking down on me, he’s there saying, ‘do it for the Stubbs family John, you’ve earned it and you deserve it’. I know my family will be as proud as punch.”

The British team’s chef de mission Penny Briscoe paid tribute to both Simmonds and Stubbs.

“Both Ellie and John exemplify what it means to be a ParalympicsGB athlete. Their excellence on the field of play as well as their integrity, leadership and commitment to the team is something very special,” she said.

“I have no doubt that by their example they will inspire the whole of the team to achieve great things over the coming 12 days of competition.”

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