London 2012

Press release

Whirlwind 24 hours welcomes Rigobert to London

Natacha Rigobert was Mauritius' flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games

London, Great Britain, July 28, 2012 – It has been far from a low-key start to the London 2012 Olympic Games for Natacha Rigobert and Elodie Li Yuk Lo, the representatives of the Mauritius beach volleyball team.

On Friday night at the Olympic Stadium Rigobert was Mauritius’ flag bearer and led the Mauritius delegation out during the opening ceremony. Then less than 24 hours later she and Li Yuk Lo took on FIVB world champions and number one seeds Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta in their opening match at Horse Guard’s Parade and fell to a 21-5, 21-10 loss.

“It has been crazy, a dream,” Rigobert said. “I feel like I have been walking and dreaming while I’ve been awake. It’s fantastic. Yesterday I was so overwhelmed by the emotions of carrying the flag. I’ve never been in a stadium as huge as that one in my life.

“When I walked into the stadium today it was the same. I felt overwhelmed by the power of the Brazilian girls. Everything we tried, we couldn’t do anything they were always ahead of us.”

Rigobert’s role as flag bearer was unique for two reasons. She was the first female to carry the flag of the Indian Ocean nation of 1.3million and the pair are the first team to represent the African nation at an Olympic Games.

She was one of two beach volleyball players to be chosen as their delegation’s flag bearer. Martins Plavins was the other when he carried in Latvia’s flag during the opening ceremony and Rigobert hopes her role as flag bearer will help raise the profile of the sport in her homeland.

“I’m really proud to be the flag bearer,” she said. “I am really happy about it and happy that they chose me. Secondly I am really happy for the sport because beach volleyball is not big and this will help us get more support and helps us play more than five matches like this in a year and get better.

“It is a big stadium and it was amazing. Everything was so beautiful, the lights, the people and the fireworks, it was amazing. It was a dream, my dream.”

Rigobert and Li Yuk Lo now have two days rest to recover from their loss to Juliana and Larissa before they face the Czech Republic’s Hana Klapalova and Lenka Hajeckova in their second match, on July 30.

“I think it is a good thing to play against the first seeds first, because then you get rid of everything,” Rigobert said. “Then you get to concentrate on the next match and what you have to do and not get overwhelmed by it.”

FIVB  flag bearers at the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony

Beach Volleyball
Latvia – Martins Plavins
Mauritius – Natacha Rigobert

Turkey - Neslihan Darnel

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

27.12.2012 14:44:20
Olympic Beach Volleyball review – What to expect in Rio?
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 27, 2012 - As part of an end-of-year review series, the FIVB takes a look back at the success of beach volleyball at t... More...
26.12.2012 09:41:42
Olympic Volleyball review - Stunning finals highlight terrific tournament
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 26, 2012 - As part of an end-of-year review series, the FIVB takes a look back at the outstanding volleyball competiti... More...
20.12.2012 17:11:37
Beach volleyball voted one of the highlights of London 2012
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 20, 2012 – Beach volleyball has been named as one of the highlights of the 2012 London Olympic Games by More...
12.09.2012 18:24:41
Brink and Reckermann handling celebrity well
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 12, 2012 – With Europe’s first beach volleyball gold around their necks, Brink and Reckermann have become genuine sta... More...
28.08.2012 16:58:48
Walsh reflects on May-Treanor retirement, while her career moves ahead
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 28, 2012 – As three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh appears to have wrapped up her 2012 season, the FIVB looks back on... More...
24.08.2012 17:25:22
May-Treanor's retirement brings an end to the sport's greatest pairing
London, Great Britain, August 24, 2012 – Three weeks after the end of the London Olympics, the FIVB reflects on the amazing team of Misty May-Treanor ... More...
22.08.2012 09:57:22
Russia sets the bar high, but expect big changes from Brazil and USA, says Tom Hoff
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 22, 2012 - In a final retrospective on the London Olympics, former USA captain Tom Hoff talks about the Russian players ... More...
21.08.2012 14:57:51
Olympic beach volleyball sand distributed
London, Great Britain, August 20, 2012 - Over 4,000 tons of sand has been donated by The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) from the temporary b... More...
12.08.2012 18:31:48
Russia come from behind to win Olympic title after 32 years, Brazil and Italy get silver and bronze
London, Great Britain, August 12, 2012 – The last day of action of the men’s volleyball tournament at Earls Court provided all fans with the right cli... More...
12.08.2012 18:30:00
Brazilian legend Giba calls time on career
London, Great Britain, August 12, 2012 – Brazil captain and legend Giba has called time on his 20-year international career after the heart-breaking 3... More...