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Ilias Iliadis to carry Greek flag in Beijing
Ilias Iliadis, who won the gold medal in his event during the Athens Olympic Games, will be the first athlete to enter the Olympic Stadium in Beijing during the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games on August 8. During Tuesday's meeting of the Hellenic Olympic Committee executive committee, Iliadis was voted to be flag bearer for the Greek mission, which traditionally is the first to enter the stadium at start of every Olympiad.
"It is a great honor for me to enter the Olympic Stadium in Beijing first while holding the Greek flag, representing not only Greek judo but all of Greece. I feel great, as this will be one of the biggest moments in my career. I would like to thank the country I love, and for whom I toil every day for the great honor it has bestowed on me. Every athlete would want to be in my position. I am lucky that I will experience this, especially at such a young age. I want to repay my country, Greece, by winning a medal in Beijing as well. I want the national anthem of Greece to be heard on Aug. 13 at the judo venue. I consider it an obligation to grant my country more victories. Greece deserves only the gold medal and I aim to win it for the country. My training will continue up until the last day before the competition so that I am absolutely ready. I am in very good condition, physically, and the news by the Hellenic Olympic Committee has boosted me psychologically," said Ilias Iliadis.