By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills will be one of the two flag-bearers of Australia in the 2021 Olympic Games. Mills is the first Indigenous Australian to do so in the history of the country.
The announcement by the Australian Olympic Committee is as follows:
Creating Australian Olympic history, Patty Mills becomes the first Indigenous Australian to carry the flag at an Opening Ceremony while Cate Campbell becomes the first female swimmer to do so.
In a further historic touch, the pair become the first dual flagbearers to carry the Australian flag – though not the first dual flagbearers, with Denise Boyd and Max Metzker leading the Australian Team in Moscow 1980 behind an Olympic flag.
Cate is also only the third flagbearer from swimming, following in the footsteps of Max Metzker (Moscow 1980) and Andrew (Boy) Charlton (Los Angeles 1932).
Patty Mills is the third from basketball joining Lauren Jackson (London 2012) and Andrew Gaze (Sydney 2000).
Both Cate and Patty are attending their fourth Olympic Games, having made their debuts in Beijing 2008. They will add to the list of 23 Australians who have previously carried the flag at a Summer Games, beginning with George Parker in Antwerp in 1920.
Patty Mills says the privilege is hard to wrap his head around.
“As a proud Kokatha, Naghiralgal and Dauareb-Meriam man it’s incredible. A very passionate moment I can feel in my bones. But what does it actually mean to me to be a flag bearer?
“My answer comes from how this particular person in past years, in this role, has impacted me. It’s leadership, representation and It’s insanely meaningful. It’s inspiring. It’s symbolic. It’s emblematic.
“But I think my honest answer would be, what does it mean to everyone else? What does it mean to the team? What does it mean to everyone in Australia? The thousands of ex-pats living around the world? What does it mean to the next generation? The people that have come before us?
“Because those are the people I proudly represent and will carry the flag for. As the first Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander flag bearer my connection between our country – the land, the sky, the sea, our culture, our history and this particular moment runs extremely deep.
Photo: Patty Mills