YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast - Former University of Miami track standout Murielle Ahouré has been selected to carry the flag for Ivory Coast at the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in London on Friday evening. The sprinter will compete in the 100 and 200m dashes during the Games.
"I am very excited to be able to represent my nation at the Olympics and words can't explain how proud I was to be selected as the flag bearer," Ahouré said. "This is all a dream come true to be able to compete at the highest level - I just need to relax and let my body do the work and the results will show up. I can't wait to get started, this will be something that I will never forget."
Regarded as one of the top rising sprinters in the world, Ahouré is currently leading the Diamond League standings - a series of races amongst the best globally - in the 200m dash. She earned a silver medal at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships in March in the 60m dash (7.04), setting an Ivorian record. At the University of Miami, she was the 2009 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 200m (22.80), with the time also being the best ever by an African native in the event.
Ahouré set a personal best of 11.00 in the 100m in Rome in May, while recording a best of 22.42 in the 200m in Oslo in June. Ivory Coast did not hold official trials, but Ahouré's times from across the world qualified her for the Olympics.
"It has been such a wonderful season so far," she said. "I've been able to set some personal bests and my goal is to medal at the Olympics."
Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Ahouré, 24, moved to France at age two before coming to the United States at 14. She attended George Mason University and earned numerous honors, including CAA Athlete and Rookie of the Year and All-America status, before transferring to UM for her senior year. In her lone season for the Hurricanes (2008-09), she was named an All-American four times and graduated with a degree in criminal justice.
The preliminaries for the 100m dash in London will be held on Aug. 3 at 7:05 p.m. EST, with the first round of the 200m scheduled for Aug. 6 at 7:20 p.m. EST. The Opening Ceremonies will be broadcast on NBC this Friday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. EST. In the traditional parade of nations, Ahouré will be holding the Ivory Coast flag, which has the same colors as the University of Miami: orange and green.Follow all 10 OlympicCanes during the Games on hurricanesports.com and at the official blog, olympiccanes.tumblr.com.