Russian bobsleigh star Zubkov to carry flag at opening

Russia's veteran bobsleigh driver and top Sochi Olympic Games medal candidate Alexander Zubkov will carry the Russian flag at the opening ceremony this week, the Russian Olympic Committee said on Wednesday.

The decision to give the huge honour to Zubkov of leading the home team out at Friday's ceremony was taken at a meeting of the Russian delegation that took account of the opinions of all the team captains in the Russian squad, state media said.

"I am very satisfied and happy that I have been entrusted with such a proud mission," the R-Sport news agency quoted Zubkov as saying.

"It is wonderful to know that the country is behind me."

Zubkov, 39, is one of Russia's most decorated modern Olympians after winning silver in the four-man bob in the Olympic Games in Turin and then bronze in the two-man in Vancouver. He took part in his first Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002.

He had announced his retirement from professional sport in 2010 after Vancouver and even started a career in local politics in his native Siberia.

However he returned to the ice in style winning gold in the two-man world championships in 2011, Russia's first ever, and silver in the two man in 2013. He is now seen as one of Russia's best medal hopes in the Games.


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