Cape Town - Swimming legend Michael Phelps has been chosen to be the USA's flag-bearer at the Rio Olympic Games, it was revealed on Wednesday.
With 22 Olympic medals, including 18 golds, Phelps is the most decorated Olympian in the history of the global showpiece.
Rio will mark the fifth Games the celebrated swimmer has participated in after making his debut at the Sydney Games in 2000 at the age of 15.
"I'm honoured to be chosen, proud to represent the U.S. and humbled by the significance of carrying the flag and all it stands for," the 21-year-old told ESPN.
"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 will compete in the men’s 100m and 200m butterfly, as well as the 200m individual medley.