Fencing mom Arianna Errigo and high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi named Italy's Olympic flagbearers

ROME (AP) — A fencing mother of twins and a high-jumping symbol of Italy's success at the Tokyo Olympics will be the country's flagbearers at the Paris Games opening ceremony.

Arianna Errigo and Gianmarco Tamberi were selected on Monday by the Italian Olympic Committee for the honor at the July 26 ceremony.

Errigo, who will be competing in her fourth Olympics, has won medals in each color. At the 2012 London Games, she was on the Azzurri squad that won gold in the team foil and also took silver in the individual event. Three years ago in Tokyo, she won a bronze in the team event.

Then last year Errigo gave birth to twins, who she now brings along to her competitions.

“She's a great example of how mothers can still compete at the highest levels of their sport,” Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malagò said.

Tamberi, who is entering his third Olympics, tied for gold with Mutaz Barshim of Qatar in Tokyo and is also the reigning world and European champion in the high jump.

Tamberi's agreement with his good friend Barshim to share the gold was hailed as a testament to fair play. Tamberi launched into an elaborate celebration with Barshim and then ran over and leapt into the arms of compatriot Marcell Jacobs when he surprisingly became the Olympic 100-meter champion minutes later.

Tamberi was chosen ahead of swimmer Gregorio Paltrinieri, who has three Olympic medals.

Jacobs, who also won gold on the track with Italy's 4x100 relay team, already had the honor of parading Italy’s flag at the closing ceremony in Tokyo.

Second-ranked tennis player Jannik Sinner has become Italy’s most popular athlete in recent months after leading the country to the Davis Cup title and then winning the Australian Open.

But in a recent interview Sinner, who is planning on competing at the Olympics for the first time, said that a gold medalist deserved the flagbearer honor.

Italy won 40 medals in Tokyo three years ago — its most ever at an Olympics.


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Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press