Eight years ago, Lopez Lomong didn’t even have a country. Now he’ll be carrying the flag for his adopted nation, leading the U.S. Olympic team at opening ceremonies Friday night.
Lomong, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan who now trains in Flagstaff, won a vote of team captains Wednesday to earn the honor of leading America’s contingent into the 90,000-seat Bird’s Nest Stadium.
The 1,500-meter track runner, who competed for Northern Arizona University, will be the flagbearer only 13 months after becoming a U.S. citizen.
“It’s more than a dream,” Lomong said in an interview with The Associated Press moments after he got the news. “I keep saying, I’m not sure if this is true or not true. I’m making the team and now I’m the first guy coming to the stadium and the whole world will be watching me carry the flag. There are no words to describe it.”