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Olympics-U.S. curler Shuster, speed skater Bowe named Games flagbearers

Randy Mancini 14 Feb 3
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics
FILE PHOTO: Curling - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men's Final - Sweden v U.S. - Gangneung Curling Center - Gangneung, South Korea - February 24, 2018 - Skip John Shuster of the U.S. reacts. REUTERS/John Sibley

February 3, 2022

BEIJING (Reuters) – John Shuster will become the first curler to carry the American flag at an Olympic opening ceremony when the Winter Games begin on Friday while speed skater Brittany Bowe will walk on behalf of bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor, who tested COVID-19 positive.

Five-times Olympian Shuster, who skipped his rink to gold in the men’s competition in Pyeongchang, was elected flagbearer by his United States’ team mates while 2018 bronze medallist Bowe finished runner-up and will take the place of Meyers Taylor.

“Being elected as one of the flagbearers is a tremendous honour,” Shuster said. “Joining the incredible group of Team USA leaders, especially since it was chosen by my Team USA team mates, is one of the greatest honours of my sporting career.”

Meyers Taylor, participating in her fourth Games, is the only woman to win three bobsleigh medals for the United States, with two silvers and a bronze. The 37-year-old tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday shortly after arriving in Beijing.

“While I cannot carry the flag and walk in with the rest of Team USA, Brittany is very deserving of the opportunity to lead our delegation on my behalf,” she said.

The Games begin on Friday with the opening ceremony at the Bird’s Nest Stadium, where the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony was also held.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma; Editing by Ken Ferris)