CWG 2022 flagbearers: Teammates select LGBTQ, double amputee for Scotland
While the senior officials of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) sat down to discuss, short list and then select who would carry the Indian flag at the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the Scottish contingent left it to fellow athletes to select their flagbearers.
The IOA chose PV Sindhu first and then when informed they could choose two, they added the name of the hockey captain, Manpreet Singh, who was part of the team that won the Olympic bronze in Tokyo.
Also read: 15 interesting facts about India at CWG
Meanwhile, the Scottish athletes chose badminton star Kirsty Gilmour, now playing her fourth Commonwealth Games, and para athlete Micky Yule to carry their flag. Both Gilmour and Yule are amazing stories.
In November 2021, Gilmour ‘came out’ and declared herself as a gay athlete in a podcast interview. As a member of the LGBTQ community she has been lauded and her status as a much-loved athlete has soared even more.
Gilmour told local media, “For me personally, I am also the first openly gay athlete to carry the flag for Scotland – a huge honour for me and for everyone in the LGBTQ community.”
Sindhu is one of the biggest names in Indian sport with a record that is simply breath-taking with multiple medals in Olympic Games, World Championships, Asian and Commonwealth Games. At the CWG she won a bronze in 2014 and silver in 2018, when she lost the final to fellow Indian, Saina Nehwal.
Manpreet was the captain of the Indian team that ended a four-decade-long medal drought at the Olympics in Tokyo. He was also captain of the Indian team that came back without a medal from Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Till late last night, the officials accompanying the Indian contingent were unaware that each country/ region was allowed to name two sportspersons to be the flag bearers. India then added Manpreet.
The hockey team has never won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and in fact in 2018, they were edged off the podium itself as England beat India in the bronze medal play-off. They have reached the final only twice in five appearances. Australia have won the men’s gold all six times the sport has appeared on the programme.
War veteran and double amputee
Paralympic bronze medallist Micky Yule will be one of the two flagbearers for Scotland. Apart from Kirsty Gilmour, the badminton star, Micky Yule will be doing the duty.
— Kirsty Gilmour (@KirstyGilmourr) July 27, 2022
Yule, who is taking part in his third Commonwealth Para-powerlifting event, and Gilmour were selected by their fellow team members.
Yule was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) whilst serving with the British Army in Afghanistan in 2010 and required more than 40 operations, being left as a double amputee.
A powerlifter before the amputations, Yule came back to sport in 2011 and represented Scotland at the 2014 Games in Glasgow and was fourth and he was once again fourth in 2018. So, he is searching for his first medal. Yule was also sixth in his Paralympic debut in 2016 but won a bronze in Tokyo 2020 Games, which were held in 2021.
Gilmour, playing her fourth Commonwealth Games badminton event, made her debut in New Delhi in 2010, the year Sindhu watched it from the sidelines, while Saina won gold. Gilmour then became the youngest badminton player to attend a Commonwealth Games for Scotland having just turned 17.
In 2014, she became the first Scottish woman to reach a Commonwealth Games badminton singles final, winning silver, and Gold Coast 2018 saw her return to the podium with a second successive singles medal, this time a bronze.