Brendan Newby and Elsa Desmond have been named as the flagbearers for Team Ireland at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on Friday (11.30am Irish time)
Ireland will be represented by six athletes across alpine skiing, cross country skiing, freestyle skiing, luge and snowboarding at the Games.
Freestyle skier Newby carried the flag for the closing ceremony in Pyeongchang 2018, and now will enter the stadium in his second Olympic Games as the flagbearer alongside Luger Desmond.
Cork-born Newby, who is better known as Bubba, described being selected as a flag bearer as ‘probably the greatest honour of my life.
“There really aren’t many Irish Winter Olympic opening ceremony flag bearers. So, to be added to that short list is incredible. I’ll be sure to walk as slow as I can so I can hold the flag for as long as possible!”
First time Olympian Elsa Desmond earned her place in Beijing 2022 last month and is relishing the Olympic experience.
“I don’t think I can put into words how excited I am to lead out the team. I really hope that when it comes to the races later in the week I can focus, relax, slide how I know I can, and make my country proud.”
Meanwhile, two-time Olympian Oliver Dingley has announcement his retirement from top-class diving
The 29-year-old was Ireland’s first competitor in a diving event at the Games in 68 years when he competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
He had a magnificent Games reaching the final of the 3m springboard and achieving an eighth-place finish. He also competed at last year’s Games in Tokyo but didn’t advance to the final.
"After just over 20 years of diving, I have reached the decision to retire," Dingley said.
"The past 20 years have held many challenges but importantly, many great memories and experiences I will always cherish."
The Harrogate-born athlete added: "The pinnacle to me was representing Ireland at the Olympic Games" and that it had been "a privilege to be a part of the Irish diving family".