Two nations have already announced their flag bearers for Rio with Peru and Ireland revealing their opening ceremony bearers on Thursday. Israel Hilario Rimas will be Peru’s flag bearer while John Twomey will bear the flag for Ireland.
Rimas will be coming in to Rio on form, as he has had a career best year in 2015 winning two UCI World Cup races. He claimed those wins in Maniago and Yverdon-les-Baines before he won the C2 category at the UCI World Championship road race in Nottwil.
That all gives Rimas a phenomenal opportunity at a medal, and should he claim gold it would be an historic achievement for Peru. The Peruvians have not won a Paralympic gold medal since Sydney in 2000, and haven’t won a single medal since 2004.
Twomey will be rewarded by Ireland for his long service to the Irish Paralympic Committee, as he will bear the flag at the opening ceremony. Twomey is entering his 11th straight Paralympic Games, competing as a sailor since 1996.
Rio will be Twomey’s last Paralympic Games and so the honor is part of what will no doubt be a long retirement party by Ireland for Twomey. Twomey won a gold medal in Seoul 1988, winning the old two category at the discus. He has since retired from athletics, retiring after Barcelona 1992 but the timing was perfect for the long-time sailor, who transitioned to sailing for Atlanta 1996 (when it was a demonstration sport), Twomey comes in with hopes of adding to his medal collection after coming third in the 2013 World Championship in the Sonar class along with partners Ian Costelloe and Austin O’Carroll.