Eddie Ockenden and Rachael Grinham named Commonwealth Games flag-bearers

As the sun was setting in the churchyard of the medieval St Bartholomew’s Church, Edgbaston, Australian men’s hockey co-captain Eddie Ockenden and squash veteran Rachael Grinham soaked in their appointment as flag-bearers for the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Both still seemed shocked by the honour, despite their decorated careers.

Ockenden, 35 has three gold medals from three Games, while 45-year-old Grinham has been to six Games, winning two golds.

“I probably thought the last one, Gold Coast, was going to be my last (Games), but here I am again, and I really wasn’t expecting this at all,” Grinham said.

“And I couldn’t imagine a higher highlight basically in my career.”

“You feel a little bit uncomfortable, to be honest,” Ockenden said.

“[You] ask yourself, ‘Am I worthy to stand in front of all these amazing Australians?'”

They are the second duo to carry the flag, after cycling twins Sal and Remo Sansonetti did it in 1978.

And Ockenden will become the second Kookaburra in a row to lead the team.

“I was rooming with Mark Knowles at the last one (Gold Coast 2018) and when he was named (flag-bearer)Ockenden said.

“I was so excited for him, [thinking], ‘This is so cool for hockey.'”

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