Tokyo 2020 - A 'huge honour' - Hannah Mills and Moe Sbihi on becoming Team GB flag bearers
Hannah Mills and Moe Sbihi have been chosen to represent Team GB at Saturday's Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony as flag bearers. Both Mills and Sbihi are competing for their third Olympic medals this summer and label it as an 'incredible' opportunity, "I literally never even imagined it as a possibility!”
'A real honour' - Hannah Mills and Moe Sbihi on becoming Team GB flag bearers
Hannah Mills and Moe Sbihi have been chosen to represent Team GB as joint-flag bearers for Saturday’s Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony.
“It’s nothing I've ever really considered would happen in my career,” said Sbihi.
“I’d always try to lead by performance and lead by example and this is something else I can add to my little repertoire of trying to improve the numbers of Islamic faith within the sport of rowing and within Olympic sport in general.
READING, ENGLAND - JUNE 09: Mohamed Sbihi of Great Britain poses for a photo to mark the official announcement of the rowing team selected to Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake on June 09, 2021 in Reading, England. (P
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“I hope that I can inspire young kids to pick up a rowing oar or get on a rowing machine and try the sport out just because whilst I am tall, I’m just a normal person that got very lucky.”
Mills touched on the uncertainty of the Games throughout the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and why it makes this ‘incredible opportunity’ so much sweeter.
“This last year has been really mentally challenging.
“The constant is it on, is it off (Olympics), has been really hard to deal with as athletes but we just kept our heads down, kept working hard.
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 21: Eilidh McIntyre and Hannah Mills of Team Great Britain compete in the Women's 470 Class practice race ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Enoshima Yacht Harbour on July 21, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Ima
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To be here and have this incredible opportunity, I literally never even imagined it as a possibility!
The pair both compete in water sports. Mills ply’s her trade in Sailing whilst Sbihi represents Team GB in rowing. They boast four Olympic medals between them with two each.
Mills won gold last time out at Rio 2016 in the Women’s two person dinghy event, one better than she managed at London 2012, picking up silver.
Sbihi matches Hannah’s gold, securing top spot in the Men’s coxless fours rowing event in Rio whilst managing a third placed finish in London 2012.
Cardiff born Mills says she will be ‘thinking of a lot of people’ when she represents the UK on Saturday night on the world stage at Tokyo’s opening ceremony.
“I’ll be thinking of many, many people.
“Obviously my family who have been there with me on my journey the whole way, and Saskia who I did the Rio Olympics with, and I’m really lucky that Eilidh, my team mate for this Olympics is going to be there with me as well.
“I guess what this Olympics stands for after the last 18 months the world’s had, I think that’s probably what I’ll be thinking of most.
“What the Olympics represents in terms of humankind coming together, to celebrate not just sporting achievements and success but friendships and helping each other - the true goodness of what we can be as humans.”
Kingston upon Thames’ Sbihi admits his full focus will be on remembering the little things.
I’m going to have to remember to smile!
“When I concentrate on things I sometimes look a little bit moody, so I’m going to have to remember to smile and keep my arms straight!
“Just walking and being a part of the Olympics opening ceremony is a real honour as a rower, I don’t think there has been many within the history of the Olympics because we’re always in that first week and the way we compete so early in the morning the next day.
“I’m lucky I have the 24th, 32 hours afterwards to be able to recover and rest.
“I just have to enjoy every single moment at this Games, especially for one reason or another, because of Covid, because of where I am in my career, I’ve tried to enjoy every single moment of it and that includes living in the village during competition phase and being a part of Team GB and now being the flag bearer along with Hannah is just something else I need to soak up and appreciate.
“I’ll try and trap those memories and keep them safe and secure.”
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