The U.S. Olympic Opening Ceremony flag bearer is usually chosen two days before the Games. Therefore, everyone has another week to debate who this year’s choice should be.
The U.S. flag bearer generally falls into one or more of three categories — medal favorite (Mariel Zagunis, 2012), longtime Olympian (Mark Grimmette, 2010) or fascinating backstory (Lopez Lomong, 2008).
(Technically, a flag bearer doesn’t have to be an Olympian. Boxer/politician Manny Pacquiao carried the Philippines flag at the 2008 Olympics.)
With that in mind, NBC Olympics compiled a list of 13 candidates (plus the ubiquitous “other”) to carry the Stars and Stripes into Fisht Stadium on Feb. 7. One can vote here.
Here are 13 potential flag bearers:
Erika Brown, Curling — First competed at the Olympics in 1988 at age 15, when curling was a demonstration sport.
Julie Chu, Hockey — Only four-time U.S. Olympic hockey player in Sochi.
Emily Cook, Aerials — Competing in her third Olympics. Made the 2002 Olympic Team but withdrew due to injury.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Figure Skating — Only U.S. gold-medal favorites in figure skating.
Shani Davis, Speed Skating — Could become first U.S. man to win the same Winter Olympic event three times.
Chris Fogt, Bobsled — A U.S. Army Olympian.
Steven Holcomb, Bobsled — Drove the U.S. to its first four-man bobsled since 1948 in 2010.
Todd Lodwick, Nordic Combined — First six-time U.S. Winter Olympian.
Bode Miller, Alpine Skiing — First five-time Olympic Alpine skier.
Noelle Pikus-Pace, Skeleton — Skeleton gold-medal co-favorite, mother of two.
Kikkan Randall, Cross-Country Skiing — Favored to win first U.S. Olympic cross-country gold medal.
Lindsey Van, Ski Jumping — Veteran anchor of first U.S. Olympic Women’s Ski Jumping Team.
Shaun White, Snowboarding — Could become first Winter Olympian to enter at least four career events and win gold medals in all of them.
Who will represent U.S. Figure Skating in Olympic team event?
Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, recently met former soccer star David Beckham at a restaurant.
Both global sporting icons posted similar photos on social media with similar captions Monday morning.
Beckham played midfield for Manchester United, and Bolt is a longtime fan of the soccer club.
Bolt, who is planning on retiring after the 2017 World Championships, was recently asked about the possibility of Manchester United while hosting a Facebook Live.
“If I had the chance to play for Manchester United, I would go right now,” he said, laughing. “I would retire and start playing futbol right now. That’s how much I really want to play for Manchester United.”
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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was running down the open field when he encountered Chicago Bears safety Chris Prosinski.
Prosinski went low and Elliott, a high school state champion in the 110m and 300m hurdles, decided to go high and hurdle the defender:
The track and field community took notice of Elliott’s hurdle.
Lolo Jones, a 100m hurdler who competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, gave Elliott grades of an A++ for difficulty and an A for technique on Twitter. She wrote that it “hands down would’ve been best NFL hurdle technique of the yr.” if a second Bears defender, Jonathan Anderson, hadn’t prevented Elliott from landing cleanly:
Dawn Harper-Nelson, the 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 100m hurdles, also had a positive review of Elliott’s efforts:
Emma Coburn, the 2016 Olympic 3000m steeplechase bronze medalist, thought Elliott’s leap resembled her event:
Elliott finished with 30 carries for 140 yards to lead the Cowboys to a 31-17 win during Sunday Night Football.
His mother, Dawn, who was a track and field athlete at the University of Missouri, posted a photo on Twitter to remind everyone where her son inherited his hurling gene from:
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