Paola Ogechi Egonu, an Italian female volleyball player of Nigerian origin will be Italy’s flag-bearer for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony.
The Italian Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Tuesday that Egonu, who plays for Imoco Volley and is part of the Italy women’s national volleyball team, was the one to earn the honour to carry Italian flag into unique Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony.
Egonu, 22, received a call from the president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni Malago, to inform her of the good news as he arrived in the Japanese capital ahead of the Games.
“I am very honoured by the assignment that was given to me to be part of the IOC to carry the Olympic Flag. I am very excited since President Malago informed me, because I find myself representing athletes from all over the world and it is a big responsibility. I will represent and parade for every athlete on this planet,” Egonu said
Just recently Egonu scored 13 points in a friendly match against Brazil in Japan, in preparation for the Olympics.
Paola Ogechi Egonu is one of the most famous volleyball players in Italy. She participated at the 2018 Montreux Volley Masters, 2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championship, and 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Nations League.
“After every game I always do a little self-examination: I look at myself again, I examine my mistakes, and I often get angry”, Egonu once said. “I’m a perfectionist in everything. Even at the University: if I don’t feel super prepared, I won’t take the exam. I have to know everything, I’m never satisfied”.
Paola Egonu was born in Cittadella in the province of Padua on December 18, 1998, to parents of Nigerian origin. Before coming to Italy, Ambrose, her father was a truck driver in Lagos, while her mother Eunice was a nurse in Benin City.
She is 189 cm tall and 79 kilos. Paola has two brothers, Angela and Andrea. Her cousin Terry Enweonwu is also a volleyball player.
In November 2018, in an interview with Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily, Egonu revealed that she was engaged to Katarzyna Skorupa, a Polish female volleyball player who consoled her following the defeat at the 2018 world championship.
Egonu is set to make history as the first Italian of African descent to become Italy’s flag-bearer for the Olympics opening ceremony.