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Mark Grimmette: "I'm still shaking" after being chosen to carry U.S. flag

February 10, 2010 | 10:31 pm

Mark It was only fitting that U.S. Olympic flag bearer Mark Grimmette learned about his selection from his doubles teammate, Brian Martin.

Grimmette, of Muskegon, Mich., and Martin, of Palo Alto, have teamed to become the most successful luge duo in U.S. history, winning three World Cup titles, an Olympic bronze medal in 1998 and a silver medal in 2002. Grimmette, 39, is a five-time Olympian and will be the third luge athlete to carry the flag into the Olympic opening ceremony. His predecessors are Frank Masley in 1984 and Cammy Myler in 1994.

The flag bearer was chosen through a vote of other American athletes.

"I'm still shaking." Grimmette said in a statement released by the U.S. Olympic Committee. "I was incredibly surprised when Brian told me, and I'm still trying to process it all. To be the person leading the U.S. team into the opening ceremony is just such a great honor."

Grimmette made his Olympic debut in 1994 at the Lillehammer Games with doubles partner Jonathan Edwards, and they finished fourth. He competed on the Olympic stage in 1998 (bronze), 2002 (silver) and 2006 (DNF) with Martin. He is one of three five-time Olympians on the 2010 U.S. team, along with Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick of Steamboat Springs, Colo., and ski cross athlete Casey Puckett of Aspen, Colo.

"The exposure for the sport of luge is great," Grimmette said. "We're a small organization, but a hard-working organization. In the past, we've had Frank Masley and Cammy Myler carry the flag. Now, I'm honored to be representing our sport and this whole U.S. team."

Grimmette and Martin will compete in the doubles event next Wednesday at the Whistler Sliding Center.

Here's a list of previous U.S. Winter Olympic flag bearers, courtesy of the USOC.

1924     Clarence John Abel, hockey
1928     Godfrey Dewey, president, Lake Placid Organizing Committee
1932     William Mead Fiske III, bobsled
1936     Rolf B. Monsen, Nordic skiing
1948     John R. Heaton, bobsled
1952     James John Bickford, bobsled
1956     Bickford
1960     Donald J. McDermott, speedskating
1964     William D. Disney, speedskating
1968     Richard T. McDermott, speedskating
1972     Dianne Holum, speedskating
1976     Cynthia Nelson, Alpine skiing
1980     Scott Hamilton, figure skating
1984     Masley, luge
1988     Lyle Nelson, biathlon
1992     Bill Koch, Nordic skiing
1994      Myler, luge
1998     Eric Flaim, speedskating
2002     Amy Peterson, speedskating
2006     Chris Witty, speedskating
2010     Grimmette, luge

-- Helene Elliott in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Mark Gimmette. Credit: Shawn O'Connor / US Presswire