The West

Meares named Games flag bearer
Anna Meares, the Australian teams flagbearer. Picture: ian Munro/The West Australian

For someone who defies gravity on a bicycle at near 70kmh, Anna Meares has terrible balance with a flag.

And the Australian Commonwealth Games team are hoping she improves her waving technique or she will take out an eye at the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony at Celtic Park on Wednesday.

The track queen was so excited to receive the honour of leading the 417-strong green and gold army into the stadium she lost control of the Southern Cross during the announcement ceremony at Kelvingrove Museum and it crashed into a microphone stand.

However, the mishap couldn’t take away Meares’ joy at adding another achievement to her impressive sporting resume.

“I apologise for knocking over the speaker and almost hitting (High Commissioner Alexander) Downer,” Meares said.

“I was a little bit excited because it such huge, huge honour.

“I’m always emotional. That’s the person that I am. Being a sprinter as well, we’re pretty emotional creatures.

“I just never thought I’d get the chance.”

The microphone was nearly a victim of Anna Meares enthusiastic flag waving. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

Glasgow will be the 30-year-old Queenslander’s fourth consecutive Commonwealth Games and vindicated her decision to continue cycling after her gold medal effort at the London Olympics.

It was a fine line between retirement and staying in the saddle.

However, while age might be a villain to all sportsmen, Meares has shown before her fighting abilities cannot be under-estimated.

She recovered from a cruel accident, in which she broke her neck, in January 2008 before advancing eight months later to claim a Beijing Olympics silver medal.

And she believed that fortitude played a big role in her winning the nod from the Australian Commonwealth Games committee for her new duty.

“It tells me I have done a really good job in my career so far. I’m a good teammate, I’m a good leader,” Mears said holding back tears as her life on the bike, including four Commonwealth Games gold medals, flashed before her.

“Sometimes it isn’t always about being successful, it can be about bouncing back from defeats, failures and challenges.

“I think that is quite reminiscent of the Australian spirit and character and I think I embody those qualities.

“I’ve dedicated nearly two-thirds of my life to make Australian teams like this so it is such an incredible reward.”

The microphone survived and the show went on. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian
The West Australian

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