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Lockett named Sapporo Australian Flagbearer

18 February 2017

SAPPORO 2017: Short track speed skater Deanna Lockett has been named Australian flagbearer for the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Winter Games.

The 21-year-old Sochi Olympian will lead members of the Australian team into Japan’s Sapporo Dome during Sunday’s sold-out event which will signify the beginning of a week-long competition involving 1,200 athletes from 32 nations.

Lockett is one of five Olympians in the Australian team, which boasts a total of 30 experienced and emerging athletes across the disciplines of snowboard, freestyle skiing, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, biathlon, short track speed skating and figure skating.

The Korean based Queensland born athlete is honoured to be leading out the Aussie team for the first time at an Asian Winter Games.

“I’m super excited, I don’t even have the words right now to describe how it feels,” Lockett said.

“I was surprised when our Chef de Mission delivered the news to me and I’m honoured to be carrying our flag. I’m a proud Australian.

“I walked in the opening ceremony in Sochi so I know what to expect but carrying the flag will be a whole new experience."

Australia’s Chef de Mission Geoff Lipshut said Lockett was an exemplary young athlete and suitable flagbearer candidate.

“Deanna is a rising star in the sport of short track speed skating and a role model to some our best and brightest young winter sport athletes, many of whom are here representing Australia at the Asian Winter Games” Lipshut said.

“She was the youngest member of our Olympic Winter Games team in Sochi and continues to perform strongly on the world circuit.

“It is also fitting that an Australian athlete who lives and trains in Asia lead out our team at the Asian Winter Games.”

Lipshut took the opportunity to thank the organising committee for extending an invitation to Australia to attend the Asian Winter Games.

“As a guest nation of the Asian Winter Games Australia has been given a unique opportunity to compete against some of our neighbour countries and we are pleased to be given that chance.

“This is a momentous occasion and a huge opportunity for our athletes to experience everything that comes with a major event. We are delighted that our Asian neighbours have extended an invitation to Oceania to attend the eighth staging of the Asian Winter Games.”

The Asian Winter Games run from 19-26 February.

Michelle Cook

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