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David Morris named Closing Ceremony Flagbearer

22 February 2014

TEAM: Aerial Skiing silver medallist David Morris has been named Australian Flagbearer for the Sochi 2014 Closing Ceremony.

Morris, Australia’s one and only male aerials medallist, was offered the position by Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman yesterday and had to keep it a secret until it was revealed this morning in Sochi.

“It’s a privilege, I’ve always dreamed of this. It’s awesome,” said Morris, who spoke to media with the Australian flag draped around him.

“To be selected to represent the Team and what we stand for is just amazing.”

The 29-year-old dual Olympian is one of the most charismatic members of the Team. Since leaping to an inspired silver medal, Morris has been out supporting his teammates every day sporting an Australian flag on his back- you could say he’s been practicing.

“I watched Chumpy in the Opening Ceremony- he did a very good job," Morris commented, adding "maybe I'll dance!"

“Dave is a very popular choice,” Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman said. “He came here known as a great Team man amongst the aerial group, but he has quickly made friends with everyone in the team and they are delighted that he will be leading them out on Sunday night”.

Morris has been skiing since the age of three and started gymnastics aged four. At the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in 2010 he finished 13th and just missed the final.

His performance in Sochi capped a remarkable few years which saw him become the first Australian male to stand on the World Cup aerials podium and soar to a World Ranking of No.2.

On day 10 of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games Morris pulled four jumps together to progress to the podium for the first time in the new “Super Final” aerials format.

“Carrying the flag is a fitting reward after such a courageous performance by Dave,” Chesterman said.

Australians were captivated by Morris' performance both on and off the ice.

Swimmer, Nicole Livingstone wrote: “Performances on the field of play are one thing, but performing so brilliantly after isn't always easy.

“Many fail there, coming across as either robotic, arrogant or show bizzy.

“I feel compelled to email my congrats to Dave Morris and not just for his jump. In the post event interviews I've seen, he let all of us into his life with such charm. There were no filtered answers, they seemed to all come from the heart.

“Easy going, likeable and humble. An Australia Olympian. He typifies it.

“I'm sure for you there, a dream to deal with. I think the way that Dave has handled himself is a great example for others. Keeping it real”.

The Melbourne schoolteacher is considering his future in the sport and is believed to be learning towards a return to the classroom.

The Closing Ceremony will be held at the conclusion of Olympic competition tomorrow. Australia will be represented in men’s Bobsleigh, with the gold medal in men’s Ice Hockey one of the feature events of the Games in the afternoon before the Ceremony in the evening.

It will be a back-to-back honour for the aerial contingent after Lydia Lassila carried the flag in the Closing Ceremony at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

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