Mohamed Sbihi becomes first Muslim to carry Team GB flag at Olympics
Mohamed Sbihi made history as the first Muslim to carry the British flag at the Olympic opening ceremony in Tokyo.
Sbihi was picked from his state school in Kingston by a programme that targeted schools outside rowing’s traditional public school catchment areas.
Before the ceremony, the gold medal-winning rower spoke of his sense of pride at being honoured by being chosen to fly the Union Jack on behalf of Team GB:
"It is such an honour,” he said. “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."
“It is going to be a surreal experience actually going to an Opening Ceremony but this year with the racing schedule it is actually manageable even if I wasn’t a flagbearer. It will be really special and will complete my Olympic puzzle.”
Sbihi, who won a gold medal at the Rio Olympics in the men’s four, added: “I’ve won a medal, been to the closing ceremony but now to actually turn up at an opening ceremony and be at the head of the team alongside Hannah will be a lifetime memory that I will never forget.”