Flying the flag was the perfect ending for me, says Scott
DUNCAN SCott spoke of his pride and honour after being chosen to carry the Saltire at the head of team Scotland in last night’s Commonwealth Games closing ceremony here. the swimmer became Scotland’s most successful-ever athlete at a single Games by winning six medals, including gold in the 100metres freestyle — where he beat reigning olympic champion Kyle Chalmers and all-time great Chad le Clos in the final.
Scott said of his selection to carry the flag: ‘to be honest, I didn’t know how it was picked. It’s not something that I had ever thought about. I didn’t come into the Games to try to achieve this.
‘I didn’t really know what the criteria was.
‘I’m absolutely delighted. I got asked and it was a yes-or-no question. there was really only one answer.
‘It’s an amazing honour. only a select number can say they’ve carried the flag for Scotland at the opening or closing ceremonies.
‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself here. the group I’ve shared the apartments with, the Scottish swimming group we’ve got, is incredibly tight.
‘We grew up swimming with each other. We’re competitive but good mates at the end of the day. that has been the best thing.
‘Competing was great and to swim alongside some of these other athletes was great.
‘to be a part of team Scotland in the best overseas Games was fantastic.’
Scotland ended the Games with 44 medals, easily beating their previous ‘away’ best of 29 in Melbourne 12 years ago.
the 2018 Games were also Scotland’s second best overall, topping Edinburgh in 1986 and trailing only to Glasgow 2014 — where the inclusion of judo skewed the overall tally of 54 medals.
Picking one athlete from the nine gold medal winners alone would have been tough, if not for Scott’s obvious standout performances.
team Scotland chef de mission Jon Doig said: ‘the flag bearer was selected by the general team management.
‘Duncan has done something that no one has done before. Not only that. Look at the gold he won.
‘Beating the Australians in the blue-riband event of these Games — and the blue-riband event of their sport — in their own pool was a phenomenal achievement.
‘the viewers of that race in Australia were two million and we had a Scot coming out ahead and Flower of Scotland being sung out.’
Standard-bearer: Duncan Scott admitted he was honoured — and surprised — to carry the Saltire at the Games’ closing ceremony