Godefroid to carry Belgian flag in Beijing Games
Sailor Sebastien Godefroid has been selected to be the flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games on Friday.6 August 2008
BELGIUM - Sailor Sebastien Godefroid is to carry the Belgian flag during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
Godefroid has been selected on the grounds of his extensive track-record, the head of the Belgian Olympic team said.
Godefroid won a silver medal in Atlanta. Four years later, he ended 7th, a result he repeated in Athens in 2004. In Beijing 2008, he will not be taking part in his usual Finn dinghy but will instead share a Tornado dinghy with his former partner Carolijn Brouwer.
"It really was a difficult decision to take," Philippe Rogge, the head of the Belgian Olympic team explains.
"There were many possible candidates to carry the flag and they would have done a great job at it too. Eventually, I took the decision based on the athletes' track record."
"Sebbe was slightly surprised he should be given the honour but he readily accepted. And although he's been quite calm about it, it's clear that the prospect of carrying the flag has given him a sense of pride."
Godefroid succeeds table tennis player Jean-Michel Saive who carried the flag in Athens.
Saive is said to have been slightly disappointed when he heard the news but had said this was an extra motivation for him to continue until the London 2012 Olympics.
Other contenders to bear the flag were short-distance runner Kim Gevaert and judoka Ilse Heylen.
VRT caught red-handed in China
Meanwhile in Beijing, Belgium has been sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee for filming in the Olympic village.
The media have to apply strict rules in the village - filming or interviewing athletes or taking pictures of them is strictly prohibited.
Earlier this week, a VRT cameraman was caught filming in the village.
“We actually had the athletes’ permission to film,” the VRT team leader Jan Noppe says.
“But we also took some exterior shots of the buildings, and that we shouldn’t have done,” Noppe admits.
Belgium will not be fined for the incident but it will have to hand in a number of guest invitations. The invitations allow guests entry to the Olympic village.
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]