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Michael Phelps to Rock Light-Up Jacket as Team USA's Flag Bearer for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

by Desiree Murphy 11:39 AM PDT, August 03, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Michael Phelps is ready to light up the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The U.S. Olympic committee announced on Wednesday that Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, will be leading Team USA as a flag bearer during Friday's Opening Ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

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The honor was decided by his fellow Team USA members, who selected him by vote. "I'm honored to be chosen, proud to represent the U.S., and humbled by the significance of carrying the flag and all it stands for," Phelps said in a press release. "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."

And Phelps will certainly be making a statement during the ceremony as he'll be sporting the first-ever illuminated Team USA flag bearer jacket, designed by Ralph Lauren. According to the brand's website, Phelps will "reach inside the pocket of the opening ceremony blazer and flip a switch. At that moment, electroluminescent panels on the front and back of the jacket will be powered on, and a shining U.S. Olympic Team logo (at the chest) and 'USA' (at the back) will be seen around the world."

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Following the announcement, Phelps -- who is competing in his fifth Olympic games at the age of 31 -- took to Instagram to share the exciting news with fans.

"I am honored to lead #teamusa into opening ceremonies!!" he wrote, using the hashtags "#flagbearer," "#usa" and "#rio2016."

I am honored to lead #teamusa into opening ceremonies!! #flagbearer #usa #rio2016

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

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A few hours earlier, he posed for a selfie with fellow Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, who was sporting his new 'do -- light blue locks! "Happy bday @ryanlochte !!!" Phelps captioned it. "The old dudes on the team now!!!"

Happy bday @ryanlochte !!! The old dudes on the team now!!! #rio #usa🇺🇸

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

"Last practice on American soil complete !!" another post read. "Nothing like a little fun afterwards with the crew!!"

At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Phelps made history by winning gold medals in eight events. Four years later, he made history again by becoming the first Olympian with 22 career medals, 18 which were gold.

As we patiently wait to see if Phelps will walk away with another gold medal in Rio, watch the video below to hear Katy Perry's powerful Olympic anthem, "Rise."

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