Windsor given special place at ceremony
February 11, 2018
Article from AAP.
Harley Windsor won't mark becoming the first indigenous Australian Winter Olympian by carrying the flag but he has been given a special place at the opening ceremony.
The figure skater has accepted an offer by Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman to march behind the flagbearer of Australia's contingent in PyeongChang on Friday night.
Windsor, who will pair with long-time partner Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya in competition, will march alongside Chesterman and snowboarder Holly Crawford towards the front.
Crawford has received the honour in acknowledgement of her fourth Olympics.
Chesterman said Windsor's invitation was "in recognition of Harley's special place in Australian society and Australian sport".
"(I'm) obviously excited. I only got told a few moments ago. It's an absolute honour to be able to do that," Windsor told reporters in PyeongChang on Thursday.
" A little bit of a shock to me so it's all really overwhelming at the moment."
Western Sydney product Windsor has long spoken passionately of his connection to Aboriginal culture.
His making of Olympic history was of significant interest when fronting Australian and international press in South Korea on Thursday, recounting memories of watching Cathy Freeman.
"I was four years old. I remember seeing her on the TV and thinking, 'the Olympic Games, that's such a huge thing'," Windsor said.
"Her being indigenous is just a big inspiration for me, coming from western Sydney and not being overly rich.
"I've always done Aboriginal dancing, since I could walk. When I was growing up, it was pretty much all I knew.
"It's always been such a big part of my culture and I've always embraced it, throughout school, throughout skating."
Despite his heritage, Windsor and Alexandrovskaya's performance will not feature any aspects of Aboriginal culture.
The pair are outsiders for a medal and despite a strong 2017 in which they were crowned world junior champions, they have tempered their expectations to skating cleanly rather than a desired placing.