Emotional Phelps named US flag bearer

Aug 3, 2016 - 9:10 PM What do you give the man who has everything?

For the most decorated Olympian of all time, it's the simple things that count - like the United States flag.

Swimming great Michael Phelps on Wednesday admitted he shed tears of joy when told the US team had elected him as the flag bearer for the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.

It was one of the few Olympic honours the 18-time gold medallist had not earned since making his Games debut in Sydney at 15.

"A little bit of emotion came over me, I shed a few tears of joy," said Phelps ahead of his fifth Games.

Phelps claimed it was a "no brainer" to accept the honour.

But he still double checked with long time coach Bob Bowman whether the four-hour ceremony would affect his final Games.

"I asked on a scale of one to 10 how much it would affect me with 8.0 or more meaning I shouldn't do it," said Phelps, the first American swimmer to contest five Games.

"He said 7.8.

"But it was a no brainer, I have to do it.

"It will be one of the coolest things I have ever done."

Phelps, 31, had never even attended an opening ceremony before because of his demanding swimming program.

However, Phelps will contest only three individual events at Rio plus relays after coming out of his post-2012 London retirement.

His first event is set to be the men's 4x100 freestyle relay on Sunday.

Phelps said it gave him a chance to savour his final Games - or was it?

Phelps couldn't resist teasing reporters that they may not have seen the last of him.

"To have our first born (son) be able to watch my potential last Olympics is something I look forward to," the new dad laughed.

"I will say potential just so you guys don't beat me to death about coming back - but I'm not."

Source: AAP

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