By Duncan Mackay in Vancouver

February 10 - Mark Grimmette (pictured), a luge athlete who will be competing in his fifth Winter Olympics, has been selected to carry the United States flag at the opening ceremony on the Games here on Friday, it has been announced.

Grimmette, a 39-year-ol from Muskegon in Michigan, was chosen by the other athletes on the US team and was notified of his selection by his doubles teammate, Brian Martin.
"I'm still shaking." Grimmette said.

"I was incredibly surprised when Brian told me, and I'm still trying to process it all.

"To be the person leading the US Team into the Opening Ceremony is just such a great honour."

Grimmette and Martin are the most successful sled in US luge history.

The duo took home the silver medal in doubles luge at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and bronze at the 1998 Games in Nagano.

They are three-time overall World Cup champions (1998, 1999, 2003) and six-time World Championship bronze medalists (1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009).

Grimmette made his Olympic debut in 1994 at the Lillehammer Olympics with doubles partner Jonathan Edwards, finishing fourth, and has taken part in every Winter Geames since.

He is one of three, five-time Olympians on the 2010 US Olympic team, joining nordic combied skier Todd Lodwick and ski cross athlete Casey Puckett.

"The exposure for the sport of luge is great," Grimmette said.

"We're a small organisation, but a hard-working organisation.

"In the past, we've had Frank Masley [in 1984] and Cammy Myler [in 1994] carry the flag.

"Now, I'm honoured to be representing our sport and this whole U.S. Team."

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