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