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Lauren Jackson will carry the flag

Lauren Jackson will carry the flag

Basketballer Lauren Jackson with the flag she will carry into the opening ceremony tonight.

Basketball star Lauren Jackson will carry the Australian flag into the Olympic opening ceremony tonight, the first woman to do so in two decades.

Lauren, 31, said she is “blown away” by the honour, and was surprised to win it over the likes of swimmer Leisel Jones, beach volleyballer Natalie Cook and cyclists Anna Meares and Stuart O’Grady.

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The statuesque blonde will lead Australia’s 409 athletes into the Olympic stadium in London this evening and has offered some advice to her fellow teammates.

“Enjoy it,” she said. “These are the greatest days of our lives.”

Lauren has been a key member of the Opals team since she was 14, helping them to silver medals at the last three Olympics.

Australian chef de mission Nick Green says this makes her the perfect person to lead the squad this year.

“There is no one better to lead our team as we attempt to mix it with the superpowers of sport here in London,” he said.

Related: Why a woman should carry the flag for Australia

Lauren is the fourth woman to carry the Australian flag into a summer Olympics. The last female flag bearer was diver Jenny Donnet in 1992.

Sprinters Raelene Boyle and Denise Boyd are the only other women to carry the flag into the opening ceremony, performing the duty in 1976 and 1980 respectively.

Your say: Do you think Lauren is a good choice of flag bearer for Australia?

Video: Lauren Jackson to carry the flag for Australia

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