Malone to carry flag at closing ceremony

Publish Date
Sun, 18 Sep 2016, 5:03PM
Liam Malone (Getty Images)
Liam Malone (Getty Images)

Malone to carry flag at closing ceremony

Publish Date
Sun, 18 Sep 2016, 5:03PM

Blade runner Liam Malone has been chosen to carry the New Zealand flag at the closing ceremony of the Rio Paralympics.

The team overwhelmingly voted for the 22-year-old to bear the standard in Brazil's Maracana Stadium, after he twice broke Paralympic records previously held by Oscar Pistorius.

"Not only has Malone had an exceptional Games in terms of his results, winning two gold medals in the Men's 200m and 400m T44 and a silver in the Men's 100m T44, he has made an enormous contribution toward increasing awareness and influencing how New Zealanders think about disability," said chef de mission Ben Lucas in a statement.

"Liam very much took the whole experience in his stride, so much so it's hard to remember he is actually debuting in Rio.

"He has a unique ability to laugh at himself, a talent I think that many New Zealanders will be aware of now through his unique post-race interviews."

Malone said his selection came as a shock, but he would carry the flag with a huge amount of pride.

"I actually nearly cried when the team told me...Rio has been so amazing for me and I just can't thank New Zealand enough for the support on this journey."

The 31-strong team has won 21 medals at the Games, exceeding its target of 18.

China tops the medal count with 237 and New Zealand sits in 17th place.

The team is due back in Auckland on Thursday morning and a welcome home event will be held on Friday at AUT Millennium on the North Shore in Auckland.