Theodora Taylor and Jonas Rushworth have been selected as flagbearers for the Closing Ceremony of the Maribor 2023 European Youth Olympic Festival.
The pair were chosen not only for the seven medals they’re taking home collectively, but also for proving to be outstanding ambassadors for Team GB.
Taylor and Rushworth will carry the flag into Maribor’s main square as the curtain is brought down on another incredible summer EYOF that saw Team GB pick up medals across all four sports they were represented in.
Six days of competition, in which 39 Team GB athletes took to the field of play at venues across Maribor, were dominated by the skill and determination of the swimming team, with Taylor among the standouts. The 14-year-old from Newport secured an amazing five medal haul from the Games and showcased real talent across all her races – earning praise from not only her coaches, but everyone across the whole team.
Taylor said: “I’m so incredibly proud to be given the chance to carry the flag for Team GB because it gives me the chance to represent my team and country.
“It also tops off the most amazing week. When I came here, I didn’t think I’d even podium once, let alone win five medals. It’s all just been so surreal.
“I’m now just excited to finish this week off in style with an amazing closing ceremony. I’ll never forget my EYOF experience.”
Another notable performance from across the week came from the gymnastics hall as Rushworth, alongside teammates Sol Scott and Alex Niscoveanu, won an incredible team all-around gold.
Rushworth was particularly impressive on the day, honing his routines across the different apparatus to also win individual all around silver. He attracted praise for encouraging his teammates to stay calm and do their best throughout the day of competition.
Rushworth said: “To be honest, I didn’t expect to be in a position where I could be selected, but it’s just such a nice feeling to know that my hard work has put me in a place where I could be recognised in this way.
“I’ve been training really, really hard for so long in the build-up to this week, so it’s been good to get some great results on the back of that and repay Team GB for their faith in me.
“This week has been really exciting, I’ve done really well and I’ve really enjoyed the atmosphere of being part of Team GB, but I’ve got to use it as a learning experience, and something that helps me continue in my career.”
Taylor and Rushworth were told of their flag bearing honours by Team GB Chef de Mission, Georgina Harland, in front of the other athletes and support staff.
Harland said: “The whole team have done incredibly well at the European Youth Olympic Festival, and they should all be extremely proud of themselves. I’m delighted that both Thea and Jonas have accepted the invitation to represent the team and lead out the British delegation at the Closing Ceremony of Maribor 2023.
“Theodora has been exceptional throughout the Games and has shown such talent to win all five of her medals. She has also been a really valued team member, so I’m excited to see what the future holds for her in her swimming career.
“In addition to his fantastic achievements on the field of play, Jonas has also brought incredible energy to the team and has been a brilliant person to have around the Village. I hope he enjoys this special moment, and it brings to a close an outstanding Games for him”.
Away from the pool and gymnastics hall, there were inspiring performances from Max Hinds in the cycling road race and Julia Marczak in the -70kg judo event, amongst so many others across Maribor.
View every single result from Maribor 2023 EYOF here.