12 Feb 2010

Snowboarder to carry NZ flag at Winter Olympics

10:38 pm on 12 February 2010

Snowboarder Juliane Bray has been named as the New Zealand Olympic team flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

The Canadian city will welcome 2,500 athletes at the opening ceremony which begins on Friday at 6pm local time.

Bray, 34, was chosen to lead the team into BC Stadium in recognition of her commitment and professional attitude, as well for the regard in which she is held.

While the decision was tough, Chef de Mission Pete Wardell says he is delighted to have named her.

Bray will be the fourth New Zealand flag bearer to wear the kakahu (the team's feather cloak) in an opening ceremony at an Olympic Games.

The tradition was established in 2004. Most recently, the cloak was worn by rower Mahe Drysdale at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Curler Sean Becker wore the cloak at the Torino Winter Olympic Games in Italy in 2006.

Weather concerns

Adverse weather continues to plague preparations for the Olympics ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday.

Heavy rain forecast may wash away the 5cm of snow that finally fell on Cypress Mountain on Thursday, the ABC reports.

Fog is hindering visibility on the mountain, where the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events will be held.

Organisers admit the weather has not been their friend but they are still hopeful events will take place as scheduled.