10,000m Commonwealth champion Eilish McColgan has been given the proud honour of carrying the flag for Team Scotland at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony on Monday.
Eilish stormed to victory on Wednesday night at the Alexander Stadium, following a stunning last lap which saw her kick for home in the last 200m, setting a new Games record of 30:48:60. The run has been the talk of the Scotland team, with many athletes – including Team Scotland bronze medallist and Opening Ceremony flagbearer, Micky Yule – crediting Eilish with inspiring their own success at the Games.
The win meant that Eilish emulated her mother’s triumphs, who won the same title in a Scotland vest in 1986 and 1990. It comes at the end of a tough season for Eilish which has seen her recover from COVID and minor injuries in the run up to last month’s World Championships where she finished tenth.
Eilish said “I couldn’t believe it when I got the call from our Chef de Mission to ask me to carry the flag. I have seen some Scotland’s biggest names have that honour, so for me to be asked and have the opportunity to lead the team into Alexander Stadium, tops off an already amazing week.
“What makes Team Scotland special is that we only get the chance to pull on a Scotland vest once every four years. Representing Scotland is such a moment of pride and an absolute honour. We are a close-knit team – I have been running and competing with so many of the team since I was 12. But not just the athletes; the medics, coaches and staff. That’s what makes it special, so to lead them out at the Closing Ceremony will be a moment I will never forget.”
Team Scotland Chef de Mission, Elinor Middlemiss, said “We are delighted that Eilish will be our flagbearer for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony. Her 10,000m race was one of the highlights of the Games. An inspirational performance which has inspired our team and the nation. Eilish epitomises the values of Team Scotland, having overcome illness and injury to become a champion. Congratulations Eilish – enjoy every moment!”
Previous Closing Ceremony flagbearers have included Commonwealth champions Duncan Scott (Swimming, 2018), Alex Marshall (Bowls, 2014), Jonathan Hammond (Shooting, 2010), Gregor Tait (Swimming, 2006), Alison Shepherd (Swimming, 2002), Shirley MacIntosh (Shooting, 1994) and Albert Patrick (Wrestling, 1986).
The Closing Ceremony for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games takes place at Alexander Stadium on Monday 8th August.