Having already completed a historic Commonwealth Games campaign, Kiwi cyclist Aaron Gate has been given the perfect conclusion in Birmingham with selection to be New Zealand's flagbearer for the closing ceremony.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee announced Gate's selection on Tuesday morning, a day after he became the first New Zealander to win four gold medals in a single Games with his stunning win in the men's road race.
The win in Warwick added to his previous gold medals in the team pursuit, individual pursuit and points race from the track events in London last week.
Gate's selection also adds to a superb campaign for New Zealand's cycling team after they finished up with 13 medals at Lee Valley VeloPark - making them the most dominant team in the London velodrome - with eight gold, four silver and one bronze; the results are New Zealand’s most successful performance on the track at a major event.
“The whole campaign for me here has been a bit surreal," Gate said following his selection.
"I’m absolutely over the moon with how well it’s gone and being named as flagbearer is the icing on the cake after being able to pull off four golds with the track and road teams.
“I’m really looking forward to leading the New Zealand Team into the closing ceremony and will carry our flag with a huge amount of pride."
New Zealand Team Chef de Mission Nigel Avery said Gate is a fantastic leader of the team.
“Aaron is an incredible athlete who has represented New Zealand with pride and passion for around 15 years,” said Avery.
“He exemplifies the values and culture of our team on and off the track, and we’re thrilled to name him as our Closing Ceremony flagbearer.”
The 31-year-old, who also competed at the Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as the Tokyo and Rio Olympic Games, follows in the footsteps of Joelle King and Tom Walsh who carried the flag at the opening ceremony.
Black Sticks great Stacey Michelsen was the closing ceremony flagbearer for New Zealand at Gold Coast 2018 following their gold medal in the women's hockey tournament.