Olympic organizers defend choice of flagbearer

London Games organizers are defending a decision to allow a

former Brazilian presidential candidate to help carry the Olympic

flag at the opening ceremony – in front of the winner of the

election.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reportedly was surprised to

see Marina Silva carry the flag. Muhammad Ali and Ban Ki-moon, the

United Nations secretary-general, appeared with the

flagbearers.

Brazil’s delegation at Olympic Stadium on Friday also included

organizers of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The London organizing committee says Silva was chosen by

ceremony director Danny Boyle ”because of her really strong

environmental credentials.”

Organizers say the International Olympic Committee ”was aware

of our choice.”