Belfast's Paddy Barnes 'proud' to be selected Ireland Olympic flag bearer - now the training begins, jokes boxer
Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes has said he is proud to be selected flag bearer for Ireland at the Rio Olympics this summer.
The double Olympic bronze medallist boxer was officially announced as the flag bearer for the opening ceremony by the Olympic Council for Ireland on Wednesday - 100 days before the Rio Games.
He said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to carry the Irish flag into the Olympic Stadium at the Opening Ceremony.
"It’s an amazing feeling to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games and I’ve been lucky enough to experience it twice before already.
Extremely proud to be selected as flag bearer for Ireland at #RioOlympics2016— Paddy Barnes (@paddyb_ireland) April 27, 2016
"Going to my third Olympic Games as the flag bearer for Team Ireland now is just an incredible honour.
"I will be going for gold in Rio in the ring but I will also have the responsibility of helping to build a really positive environment for all Irish athletes. I could not be more excited about the next 100 days.”
As well as his Olympic bronze medals, Barnes also won gold for Northern Ireland at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.
In a tweet Barnes - who was awared the MBE in 2015 - said he was only finding out there were 100 days until the Brazil games.
"May start training," he joked.
Only finding out its 100 days to #RioOlympics2016 may start training!— Paddy Barnes (@paddyb_ireland) April 27, 2016