U.S. Paralympics announced that cyclist Allison Jones has been selected as the flag bearer to represent the U.S. Paralympic Team at the Opening Ceremony.
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, announced that cyclist Allison Jones (Colorado Springs, Colorado) has been selected as the flag bearer to represent the U.S. Paralympic Team at the Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Paralympic Games. The ceremony will take place on September 7 at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Jones, who will lead the 289-member U.S. Team, was chosen by a vote of fellow Team USA athletes.
“Being able to consider ending my Paralympic career with this honor is just amazing,” said Jones. “Only one person gets chosen out of almost 300 hundred athletes on the team. That enough people believed in me, my story and my legacy, it’s just a real honor.”
Jones, who was born without her right femur, has been active in sport her entire life. A cyclist and alpine skier, the Rio Games are an impressive eighth for the dual-sport Paralympian. Jones has won eight Paralympic medals throughout her career thus far; London 2012 was her most successful Games, as she won gold in the individual time trial, and bronze in the 3km pursuit on the velodrome and in the road race. With that gold in London, Jones is amongst the very few athletes who have won gold at both a summer and winter Paralympic Games.
“The Opening Ceremony is just an amazing experience,” said Jones. “To walk into a stadium full of people who are there for you – they are there to cheer you on – it’s an awe-inspiring moment. You mean something not just as an individual but on behalf of the movement, to me it’s something that can never been replicated.”
The Opening Ceremony will be shown on NBCSN from 7-10 p.m. E.T.
About Allison Jones
Allison Jones (born in Amarillo, Texas, on May 12, 1984) is a Paralympic skier and cyclist for the United States of America. She was born with the birth defect proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), which left her without a right femur. She underwent surgery at age 7 months to amputate her right foot, allowing her to more easily wear a prosthetic leg. She received her first prosthetic leg at 9 months of age. Allison moved from Amarillo, TX to Colorado Springs, CO at age 2 and a half.
She has a mechanical engineering degree from University of Denver where she received the “Pioneer Award”. At the 2006 Winter Paralympicsshe won a gold medal for slalom in the standing category. Before that she had won silver medals in the super-G and the giant slalom in the 2002 Winter Paralympics. She currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Most of her Paralympic medals have been at skiing, but she also won a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in cycling.