Amazing story surrounding athlete chosen to carry American flag

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Tonight brings Lopez Lemong's amazing story full circle.

From near death as one of "Sudanese lost boys" to the Olympic games, he never lost hope even when there was no reason to believe. Tonight Lopez Lemong will carry the Star Spangled Banner for the United States in the 2008 Olympic opening ceremony.

Lemong says, "I say, well, I want to be as fast as that guy. And that is what inspires me from that point on. I want to run as fast as that guy. I want to run for that country."

Ed Eyestone, a BYU track coach and NBC Olympic analyst says, "And pay 5 shillings to watch a little black and white screen, to see Michael Johnson win the gold medal. And eight years later, he's carrying the flag for the United States of America. I get chills just thinking about it."

"It's great to be here in front of all of you, being able to share my life story with you," Lemong said.

USA men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski says, "He talked to our team before the press conference. We told him when we march tonight we could not have anyone better carrying our flag than him."

Lemong was voted to carry the flag the various United States Olympic team captains. He'll run in the Olympic 1500 meters event. This is Lemong's first international meet.

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Tom Kirkland


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