By Duncan Mackay in Vancouver

February 12 - Shelley Rudman (pictured), who won a silver medal in the bob skeleton in the Turin Olympics in 2006, will carry the Union Flag for Britain at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Games here tonight, it has been announced.

For the first time, the British Olympic Association (BOA) is also naming two team captains at these Games.

They will offer leadership and advice to the athletes around them, with one based in Vancouver, the other in Whistler.

In Vancouver, the team captain will be David Murdoch, skip of the men’s curling team who are the reigning world champions. In Whistler, the team captain will be Rudman.

Rudman: "I am so excited to be selected to carry the flag for Team GB.

"It’s a huge honour for me to have been chosen to represent our team, and ultimately our country, in this way.

"There are some wonderful athletes here, and I will be so proud to be the person who leads them into the stadium.

"I’m looking forward to the opening ceremony very much indeed.

"I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic occasion and, as athletes, it’s a sign to us that the Games really are getting under way.

"It’s an added privilege to be named as team captain for the Whistler athletes, and when I look at some of the talented competitors we have up in the mountains, it’s very exciting."

Murdoch (pictured): "I take a great deal of pride in being part of Team GB and representing my country at the Olympic Winter Games, so to be named as a team captain is a fantastic fillip for me, and great recognition for the sport of curling.

"I will absolutely do my best to offer advice and support to all the athletes in Vancouver.

"I know from experience that competing at an Olympic Games can be a daunting prospect, and I look forward to passing on some of my knowledge, and supporting the athletes in every way I can."

Andy Hunt, Chef de Mission of Britain's team, said: "Shelley and David are outstanding athletes and, as with all members of Team GB, they represent the Best of British. Both of them richly deserve to have been honoured in this way. 

"Shelley won Team GB’s only medal at the last Olympic Winter Games and did a huge amount to raise the profile of both skeleton as a sport, and winter sports in general. I can’t think of a more suitable candidate to carry the Union Flag at the opening ceremony

"David is an inspirational skip whose team are the reigning world champions.

"He is an enormously impressive athlete who will, I’m sure, offer the same level of leadership as team captain as he does on the ice."

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