Posted: 23.07.21 at 18:30 by Ellie Brown
A rower from Surbiton was one of Team GB's two flag-bearers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic opening ceremony today (23 July).
Moe Sbihi, 33, led 20 members of the British squad out into the koku-ritsu stadium alongside sailor Hannah Mills , also 33.
The duo made history as the first pair of flag-bearers for Team GB, when they made their entrance at about 1pm GMT.
Sbihi is also the first Muslim to fly the flag for the British squad.
Responding to news of his selection, he resident said: “It is such an honour to be invited to be the flagbearer for Team GB.
"It is an iconic moment within the Olympic Movement - people remember those images.
"I certainly remember the images of Andy from Rio and even before I was a rower I remember seeing Sir Matt and Sir Steve, so it is something I am incredibly proud of.”
He added: "I’ve won a medal, been to the closing ceremony but now to actually turn up at an opening ceremony and be at the head of the team alongside Hannah it will be a lifetime memory that I will never forget.
Moe's local links
The 6ft 8in rower was born in Kingston upon Thames and grew up in Surbiton, attending Hollyfield School .
It was here that his potential as a rowing champion was first spotted - and where he got his nickname, Moe (his full name is Mohamed).
Since then he has won Gold in the men’s coxed four at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and Bronze in the men’s eight at London 2012.
Tokyo is his 3rd Games and he will be rowing in the men's coxed eight.
But the internationally successful rower has kept up his local links.
The Surbiton resident currently rows for Molesey Boat Club and before this completed a degree in Sports Science at St Mary's University, Twickenham.
Responding to news of his selection as flag-bearer, Hollyfield School said : "What an amazing honour! We are so proud of you, @moesbihi!"
St Mary’s Head of Sport, Andrew Reid-Smith said: “Moe's achievements in rowing are significant and clear to see, but to have been invited to be the flag bearer for Team GB is an incredible honour.
"This speaks volumes about Moe, not just his performances and medals won, but who he is as a person.
"This is wonderful news and everyone at St Mary's is excited to see Moe leading the Team out at the Opening Ceremony.”
And Molesey Boat Club told BBC Radio Surrey Sport : "We are beyond proud of what [he has] achieved in our sport and congratulations on this special honour."
Click HERE for Moe's Team GB profile.
Will you be watching Moe row for Team GB this summer?
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