Editor's Note: Today, we're running a piece of news as our feature for a couple of reasons. First, our good friend and ambassador extraordinare for shooting sports, Kim Rhode has been honored with the position of Team USA flag bearer for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Second, ESPN and ESPN Desportes will be carrying the opening ceremonies live tonight beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. You can see Kim leading our teams into the stadium, but you probably won't see her again afterwards. ESPN -a Disney company- has no shooting sports as part of their scheduled coverage. We're not advocating, but should you decide to let ESPN know you're not happy that they're snubbing shooting sports- and the country's only five time Olympic medalist - again- you could contact ESPN Television Networks via email at https://r.espn.go.com/members/contact/tvindex or via phone at 1-888-549-3776. We're just sayin'.
TORONTO – The United States Olympic Committee announces the selection of Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) as Team USA's flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the XVII Pan American Games, to be held tonight (July 10, 2015) in Toronto, Canada. Rhode was nominated by the members of the U.S. Pan American Shooting Team and chosen by a vote of fellow Team USA members.
"This honor would not have been possible without my teammates and their nomination," Rhode said. "In all the Olympics and Pan Am Games I've competed in, you always remember your first in everything you do. Being selected as a flag bearer, this is a first for me and I'll cherish it!"
Having made her Olympic debut in 1996, Rhode is the only American to win an individual medal in five consecutive Olympic Games. Of her five medals, three are gold (1996 - Double Trap, 2004 - Double Trap, 2012 - Skeet), one is silver (2008 - Skeet) and one bronze (2000 - Double Trap). Rhode broke the Women's Skeet Olympic record with a near-perfect score of 99 at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She is also the only woman to win three individual gold medals in the sport of shooting.
On the Pan Ams stage, Rhode has earned two gold medals (2003 - Double Trap, 2011 - Skeet) and one silver (2007 - Skeet), and is seeking her fourth medal in Toronto, where she is Team USA's sole Women's Skeet competitor.
Rhode is the second shooter to serve as flag bearer for Team USA at the Pan American Games. Lones Wigger also carried the flag in 1975. Wigger earned 18 medals over the course of six Pan American Games.
Be sure to watch Rhode and the rest of Team USA carry the flag live as ESPN will be providing coverage of the 2015 Pan American Games starting tonight (Friday, July 10) at 7:30 p.m. ET with the Opening Ceremony on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Though no coverage is specifically dedicated to shooting events, Pan American Games coverage will be provided through a variety of ESPN platforms, via TeamUSA.org and usashooting.org.
The 2015 Pan American Games will take place from July 10-26 in Toronto, and for the first time, feature all 28 sports on the Olympic program. The 17-day competition will feature more than 6,000 athletes from all 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization competing in 37 sports, making it the largest multi-sport event ever held in Canada.
For more information and photos of Team USA at the 2015 Pan American Games, visit TeamUSA.org/Toronto2015 and follow @TeamUSA on Twitter.
Special thanks to TeamUSA.org for editorial support on this news release.
U.S. Pan American Team Flag Bearers
1951 Miguel de Capriles, Fencing
1967 Don Schollander, Swimming
1971 Linda Metheny, Gymnastics
1975 Lones Wigger, Shooting
1979 Ann Meyers, Basketball
1983 Denise Curry, Basketball
1987 Jim Abbott, Baseball
1991 Jim Schreiner, Canoe/Kayak
1995 Peter Westbrook, Fencing
1999 Karen Smyers, Triathlon
2003 Carl Eichenlaub, Sailing
2007 Danielle Scott-Arruda, Volleyball
2011 Jason Read, Rowing
2015 Kim Rhode, Shooting
About USA Shooting:
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting's mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country. Check us out on the web at usashooting.org and on Twitter at twitter.com/USAShooting.