Nadal: It'll be an honour for me to carry the flag


Rafa Nadal: "It'll be an honour for me to carry the flag"

As.com | 14/07/2012
Rafael Nadal has been presented as Spain's flag-bearer for the Olympic Games in London. The tennis player was at the home of the Spnaish Olympic Committee, where he was presented with the flag by the minister José Ignacio Wert and Alejandro Blanco, president of the committee. Regarding his role in the Games' opening ceremony, Nadal said "it'll be unforgettable."
"Carrying the flag of Spain representing all of the Olympians in London is a true honour for me. It'll be one of the most emotional moments that I'll have in my whole career. We hope Spain will continue on the path of success of recent years" said the Mallorcan, visibly moved.
Together with Nadal were flag-bearers from previous Olympic Games such as Jaime Berenguer (Rome 1960), Enrique Rodríguez Cal (Montreal 1976), Herminio Mernéndez (Moscow 1980), Alejandro Abascal (Los Angeles 1984) and Isabel Fernández (Athens 2004).
About the possibility of the Games coming to Madrid in 2020, Nadal said: "I think it's our turn, a fantastic job has been done. Madrid deserves to have the Games more than any other city. They've been trying to get it for many years. I will almost certainly see it as a spectator unfortunately, but it'll be an unforgettable event. I was only six years old at the time, but Barcelona is one of the most fondly-remembered Games. All Spaniards would be proud to have the Olympics like we're going to."

"I'm doing everything possible day to day to overcome my knee problems"
Rafael Nadal stated today that he was working "day to day" to recover from his knee problems. The star was speaking during his official duty of receiving the Spanish flag that he'll carry at the London Olympics.
"I'm doing everything possible to come back. After Roland Garros I went through a difficult time, but the desire is to the maximum, the work is total and I hope to be there at 100%", he explained.
"I'm the one who's most concerned. I hope that things improve. My goal is to arrive in London well-prepared, recovered. To get there I'm doing what I can every day" he added about his physical problems.
Nadal said 2012 had been "very good": "I'm enjoying playing tennis. In recent months I've been playing possibly better than ever. I'm happy but there's still the second half of the year to come, including the Games."
About the Olympic competition, where he'll defend the Gold medal, he declared: "It's the most difficult title because a tennis player only has two or three opportunities in his career. I feel really fortunate for how that week went in Beijing. I was lucky enough to arrive there in an almost perfect way."
"Opponents scare everyone. You can't hide that when you compete against the best you come out knowing you can win and lose. You have to accept both. I've been competing for years now and you know that there are bad moments and defeats", he stressed.

Wert: "He deserves it for his values and his pride to be Spanish"
Spain's minister of Education, Culture and Sport, José Ignacio Wert, said that Rafa Nadal deserved his role of flag-bearer at the upcoming Olympics in London because of "his values and his pride in representing Spain."
"Nadal has earnt the prize of holding the flag with his racket, but also with many other things. Two years ago he was in Soccer City, cheering on Spain, covered in Spanish flags. It's the values he stands for and the pride with which he represents Spain and flies the flag which makes him deserving of this role" he pointed out.
Wert encouraged the sportsmen and women to perform well in London and give a good impression of Spain. "There's going to be a country willing you on. Behind is the brand of Spain and you are a very important ingredient in that, especially now that we find ourselves in difficult times that we're all working to overcome" he said.
Alejandro Blanco, president of Spain's Olympic Committee, also explained why Nadal had been chosen to carry the flag. "He's a model, as a sportsman and in his values. I've thought many times about how to define Rafa Nadal and I think Pierre de Coubertain did it best 104 years ago when he said that life is beautiful because the fight is beautiful. I would define a sportsperson as someone who takes knocks but never abandons; someone who bends but never gives up and for whom nothing is impossible. That I think is the best definition of Rafa Nadal", he argued.



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