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Armin Zoeggeler, flagbearer in Sochi

zoegglerThe President of the Italian National Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malagò, has chosen Armin Zoeggeler as flagbearer of Italy in the next Olympic Games of Sochi 2014. The Olympic champion, born in Merano on 4 January 1974, will be the 20th azzurro flagbearer in a Winter Games (out of 22 editions), the third luger after Paul Hildgatner (1984 and 1988) and Gerda Weissensteiner (1998). Zoeggeler boasts a prestigious record: he is one of the three athletes in the world (along with his German colleague Georg Hakcl and the German skater Claudia Pechstein), the only one still in activity, however, to have won medals in five consecutive Olympic games and precisely 2 gold (Salt Lake City 2002, Turin 2006), 1 silver (Nagano 1998) and 2 bronze (Lillehammer 1994, Vancouver 2010). Armin, a carabinieri officer, married with Monika and dad of two children, Nina and Thomas, with a podium in Sochi, would then become the absolute record holder of all time. He has been renamed the “Cannibal” because of his incredible track record, which also includes six world titles (plus three silver and one bronze), two European (with two silver and three bronze) and ten World Cups, in which event he has racked up a total of 99 podiums. Zoeggeler then will guide the parade of Italy at the Opening Ceremony of Sochi scheduled on Friday, 7 February 2014, beginning at 8pm (5pm in Italy). The azzurro luger was already the flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games of Turin 2006.