O'Connor handed flagbearer honour

The Olympic Council of Ireland has selected Seamus O'Connor as the Irish flag bearer for the Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

American-born O'Connor, who has an English father a Russian mother and Irish grandparents from Dublin and Drogheda, will lead Team Ireland into the Olympic Stadium for the ceremony which is due to start at 2014 local time (1614GMT).

Irish team chef de mission Stephen Martin said "Seamus was one of only three snowboarders to compete in both the slope-style and half pipe disciplines, and had the best Team Ireland results in Sochi.

"At 16 years of age he finished 15th and 17th in his first Olympic Games.

"He can develop into a star performer over the next four years at World Cup and Olympic competition.

"Through his performances and support of other team members he has earned the right to carry the flag of his country and lead Team Ireland at the closing ceremony."

O'Connor, from San Diego, said: "When I received the flag bearer news I was beyond honoured.

"These Olympics have given me several life changing moments and this is indeed another! I could not be more proud."

O'Connor will lead out fellow team members Sean Greenwood (skeleton), Conor Lyne and Florence Bell (alpine skeleton) and Jan Rossiter (cross country).