London, Ont.-native Miranda Ayim named co-flag bearer for Canada at Tokyo Olympics
Chatham, Ont. born and current London, Ont. native Miranda Ayim will be one of Team Canada’s flag bearers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
“I wanted to shout it from the rooftops,” her father Gus Ayim says, after he was told he would have to keep it a secret for two weeks until the official announcement.
The three-time Olympic team member in basketball will share the duties with Nathan Hirayama of Canada’s men’s rugby sevens team.
"I feel incredibly honoured to lead Team Canada alongside Nathan into the Opening Ceremony and to be representing not only my fellow athletes of Team Canada, but also the greater Team Canada: our nation,” Miranda said in a news release Monday.
“The past year and a half demanded a high level of teamwork and Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast demonstrated togetherness, camaraderie and sacrifice -- true team spirit.”
Tokyo 2020 will be her third and last final Olympic Games. She made her Olympic debut in 2012 at the London Games.
Her mother Sandy Ayim wishes she could be in Tokyo for her daughter’s last games, but will support her the best she can from home.
"Well this is one of the ways with this little banner there, just to show some support for her and the whole team, you can’t be there but you can certainly be cheering them on.”
Miranda has represented Canada on the world stage in basketball for the last 15 years and was pivotal in winning the gold medal at the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games.
For Gus, who came to Canada as a child, now to see his child representing the country at the highest level is a surreal feeling.
“The thought that our daughter would be representing Canada, wear the maple leaf for so many years is just amazing. And on top of that, to be asked to be the flag bearer, we’re just over the moon.”
- With files from CTV News London's Marek Sutherland