BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Michael Phelps, a Towson native and the most decorated Olympian of all time, will be Team USA's flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio.
Phelps, who made his Olympic debut in 2000 at the Sydney games as the youngest male Olympian since 1932, is also the first American male swimmer to qualify for a fifth Olympic games.
In 2008 in Beijing, he won a record eight gold medals.
He was chosen to to be the flag bearer by a vote of his fellow Team USA members.
"I'm honored to be chosen, proud to represent the U.S., and humbled by the significance of carrying the flag and all it stands for," Phelps said. "For Sydney, I just wanted to make the team. For Athens, I wanted to win gold for my country. For Beijing, I wanted to do something nobody else had done. In London, I wanted to make history. And now, I want to walk in the Opening Ceremony, take it all in, represent America in the best possible way and make my family proud. This time around, it's about so much more than medals."
Phelps is only the second swimmer to lead the U.S. delegation into the Opening Ceremony and the fifth swimmer to serve as flag bearer for Team USA.
The 2016 Olympic Games will take place from Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, marking the first Olympic Games to be held in South America.
for more features.