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Gay Paralympian will fly flag for Team GB at Rio opening ceremony

Gay Paralympian will fly flag for Team GB at Rio opening ceremony

Lee Pearson will fly flag for Team GB at Rio

Gay equestrian rider Lee Pearson will carry the flag for Team Great Britain during the opening ceremony of the Rio Paralympic Games.

The 42-year-old, who was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenital – a rare disorder characterized by multiple joint contractures, was chosen for being a ‘cornerstone’ of the team since he first competed in the 2000 Games in Sydney.

He has won 12 Paralympic medals, including 10 golds.

‘I am so proud and honored to be the flagbearer for such a talented, strong and passionate group,’ he said.

‘Being a diverse character myself means being voted by the athletes themselves has made this even more special.’

Pearson has previously described that while he may ‘dream occasionally’ he has a ‘gorgeous, muscled body’, he came to terms with his disability in the same way as he came to terms with his sexuality.

‘I don’t have a choice about my disability just as I don’t have a choice about being gay,’ he said.

‘I love who I am and certainly don’t have a problem about being gay.’

Read more about the LGBTI athletes heading to the Rio Paralympics here.