Hockey player named to carry German flag in London | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 25.07.2012
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Hockey player named to carry German flag in London

Natascha Keller was announced as Germany's flag bearer Wednesday for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on July 27. The gold-medal-winning field hockey player called it a "huge honor."

Field Hockey player Natascha Keller will carry the flag for Germany during the opening ceremony for the London Olympics on Friday. Keller, 35, is the fifth woman to carry the flag for the country, and the first since kayaker Birgit Fischer in 2000.

"The Olympic Games in London will be the first time that every country will have women in their teams," said General Director of the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) Michael Vesper. "We think it is about time we have a women carry the flag again."

"This is a huge honor for me and a very big Olympic moment," she said Wednesday after the DOSB's announcement. "It will be a great motivation for me and my team."

The Olympian, who won gold in Athens in 2004, comes from an accomplished family of field hockey players. He grandfather, Erwin Keller, won silver for Germany in 1936. Her father Carsten won gold in 1972, and brothers Andreas and Florian won gold in 1992 and 2008 respectively.

"It's the crowning moment of an already extremely successful career and a homage to the entire Keller family with its unique Olympic history," said Stephan Abel, the head of Germany's hockey association.

Keller has scored 209 goals in 419 games during her international career, which dates back to 1994. She follows basketball player Dirk Nowitzki, who carried the flag for Germany at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

dr/mz (dpa, Reuters)