Olympic champion Armin Zoeggeler will be the Italian flag bearer at the Winter Olympics, which begin February 7 in Sochi, Russia.
The decision was announced by Coni (Italian National Olympic Committee) president Giovanni Malagò, who described Zoeggeler as “the greatest athlete of all time in his sport.” The Merano-born luger champion has won two Olympic gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals, and is the only Italian to have won at least a medal in five consecutive editions of the Olympic Games; he is the only active athlete in any Winter Olympic sports who can aspire to win a sixth consecutive medal, Malagò pointed out.
Nicknamed “Il Cannibale” (the cannibal) for his notable series of victories and his cold and rational approach to races, Zoeggeler, 40, a Carabiniere by profession, won the Olympic gold medals at Salt Lake City in 2002 and Turin in 2006.
"It's a great pride for me,” he says of his appointment to carry the Italian flag at the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies. “I’m very happy and proud to carry the Italian flag. It is yet another reward for my career and an enormous incentive for the upcoming season. I will try all my best to be up to the task."