RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Aurélie Rivard won yet another gold medal and broke a world record at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Thursday night, moving her to the top of the conversation on who will be Canada’s closing ceremony flag bearer.
The swimmer now has three golds and one silver after Day 8 of the Paralympics, while breaking two world records – in the women’s S10 50m and 400m freestyles.
“I didn’t really think about it, but it would be such an honour because he (pointing at fellow Canadian swimmer Benoit Huot) was the flag bearer at the closing ceremony in London,” Rivard said. “He’s done so much in his career and he really deserved it, so it would be just so over whelming.
“I’d be very, very honoured to be able to represent Canada at the closing ceremony.”
Rivard would be the second swimmer to represent the country at Rio over the past month, as Penny Oleksiak did the same thing at the Olympic closing ceremony Aug. 21. It would also be the second Paralympic Games in a row where a swimmer carried the flag.
Teammate Katarina Roxon is also having a successful Games, winning gold in the 100m breaststroke SB8 and swimming a leg in the 400m freestyle relay alongside Rivard.
Roxon believes her teammate deserves to be considered for flag bearer.
“Oh for sure, definitely,” the 23-year-old said. “She’s done so well for Canada, especially since the London Paralympic Games, she was just a baby. She’s an adult woman now and she’s done so well, she just keeps getting higher and higher.
“I’d be so, so happy for her if she were in the mix of that conversation. She’s won a lot of medals so far for Canada and we still have one more relay left so there’s another one she can still bag there.”
Among several other Canadian athletes, Rivard has enjoyed competing in front of the Brazilian crowd. Known for their loud cheers for the visiting countries at these Games, the swimmer has used the fans as motivation in her races.
“I feel like I was racing at home, I love the Brazilians and I was able to hear them when I was swimming,” the 20-year-old said. “I’m glad that I’m able to use that energy to swim even faster and not to feel pressured and it is a pretty amazing experience.”