Long Jump World and Olympic Champion, Irving Saladino carried the Panamanian flag at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London on Friday, Jul 27.
He received the flag from President, Ricardo Martinelli, at a glitzy reception for 200 guests including seven fellow team members at the Claridge Hotel a day earlier.
The parade of athletes followed the spectacular opening ceremony watched on TV by thousands of Panamanians
Saladino wore a business suit and tie as he led the other seven athletes and Panama’s Olympic officials. The rest of the team Alonso Edward, Andrea Ferris, Ommar Simmonds, Carolena Carstens, Édgar Crespo, Juan Huertas, and Diego Castillo were dressed in white sports outfits.
“This is a small superheroes delegation; at least for me said Saladino. “We are going to risk everything so the country is very well represented”
Saladino, the first Panamanian athlete to win an Olympic Gold Medal (Beijing 2008) is confident that the Panamanian team will perform well in London.
Martinelli, the first President of Panama to travel to a country hosting the Olympics went further and predicted they might win “several medals”.