Aurélie Rivard chosen as Canada's flag-bearer for Paralympic closing ceremony
20-year-old smashed world records, won 3 gold medals in Rio
Para-swimming star Aurélie Rivard has been named as Canada's flag-bearer for the closing ceremony at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Rivard won four medals — including three gold — in the pool over the course of the Games while smashing world records in the 50 and 400-metre freestyle S10 and setting a new Paralympic record in the 100 free.
"This is such an honour," said Rivard, who was born missing her left hand. "I would have never imagined myself carrying the flag at the Games when I started swimming. We saw some great performances for our team and many people deserve this. So many legends have done it. I'm thrilled that I'm part of history."
🇨🇦 closing flag bearer <a href="https://twitter.com/AurelieRivard">@AurelieRivard</a> speaks to media <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Paralympics?src=hash">#Paralympics</a> Great choice to carry the flag! <a href="https://t.co/H1skG6xz9t">pic.twitter.com/H1skG6xz9t</a>—@CDNParalympics
The 20-year-old from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., has been on an upward trajectory since the 2012 London Paralympics. She claimed five medals at the 2013 world championships in Montreal and collected a bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Last summer she won two gold and four total medals at the 2015 world championships, breaking Canadian records in the 50- and 400-metre freestyles.
"Aurélie came to Rio completely prepared and ready to deliver," Petitclerc said. "She performed at a world-class level consistently in the pool, breaking several records and leading by example in her professionalism and focus. I am extremely proud of Aurélie and I am a great admirer of her character, her perseverance and dedication to excellence."
Rivard is the second consecutive para-swimmer to be named flag-bearer at a closing ceremony. Benoit Huot, who won his 20th career Paralympic medal in his last race, carried the flag in 2012.