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Mariel Zagunis named US Olympic flag bearer (VIDEO)

27-year-old fencer Mariel Zagunis to carry US flag at 2012 London Olympics.
Mariel zagunis us flag bearerEnlarge
Fencer Mariel Zagunis poses during the USOC portrait shoot at Smashbox West Hollywood on November 16, 2011 in West Hollywood, California. (Harry How/AFP/Getty Images)

Fencer Mariel Zagunis, twice the Olympic champion, has been named US flag bearer for the 2012 London Olympics, the team announced today.

She will carry the Stars and Stripes at Friday’s opening ceremonies.

The 27-year-old Beaverton, Oregon native posted a message on her Facebook page expressing her gratitude to the 529-member US Olympic team, which voted on the privilege.

“I am going to be the flag bearer for the United States in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games,” she said. “I am speechless, excited, proud beyond belief to represent my country and my sport with this amazing honor.”

The head of the US Olympic Committee said Zagunis’s success is a testament to America’s accomplished female athletes.

“It’s especially fitting in the year of the 40th anniversary of Title IX, when Team USA for the first time in history has more women than men, that Mariel receive the extraordinary honor that is carrying our nation’s flag into this celebration of humanity,” Scott Blackmun said, USA Today reported.

More from GlobalPost: 2012 Olympic schedule features some early excitement

Zagunis became the first American to win fencing gold in 100 years at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.

She defended her title in Beijing four years later.

She’s also won the 2009 and 2010 world championship and the Pan American Games gold. So far this season, Zagunis has eight international medals to her credit.

Her Olympic competition begins with individual sabre event on Aug. 1.

More from GlobalPost: How to attend the Olympic Games, free

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