First rugby athlete bears US flag for Youth Olympics opening ceremony

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BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) — Rugby athlete Alex Cleary was the bearer of Team USA’s flag for Saturday’s opening ceremony of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, which run from Oct. 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Cleary is the first rugby athlete to serve as an opening ceremony flag bearer for Team USA at either the Olympic Games or Youth Olympic Games.

“It means everything to me to be able to come here and represent our country. Carrying the flag for our team is a huge honor and it is going to be amazing,” Cleary said on Friday. “Being here with all of my teammates, my family, the Opening Ceremony is going to be an unbelievable experience.”

Cleary’s rugby career has rocketed over the past year. He was selected to the USA Rugby Boys High School All-American Team that played in the Youth Olympic Games qualifier and Canadian-American Future Sevens tournaments, where his performances earned him a place in training camp alongside the senior USA men’s national team.

Cleary will serve as the co-captain of the 2018 US Youth Olympic men’s rugby team in Buenos Aires.

The US delegation consists of 87 athletes with 47 men and 40 women.

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