I ran into the US flag-bearer yesterday.
Original post made by John Naber on Feb 23, 2010
"It was one of the greatest honors I have ever received," Mark told me with a big smile on his face. He described how when the US team was in the tunnel, a volunteer handed him a leather sling into which he could place the flagpole if he wished, but he wanted to wave the flag during his march around the arena, so he politely declined.
Mike Plant (the US Chef de Mission) told him that he was not allowed to "dip the flag" even out of respect for the IOC President or the Canadian Prime Minister, because there is a law preventing such a display of subservience.
When someone came over, I placed my arm on Mark's shoulder and gushed, "There are more US Olympic multiple medal winners than there are flag bearers." He smiled and said, "I'd make the trade."