International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
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International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

Michael Johnson named flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony 28.08.2012

New Zealand’s first shooting world champion was announced at the Team’s official Welcome Ceremony, held at New Zealand House.

Paralympian and Gold Medalist, Michael Johnson with his gold medal from Athens 2004. (Photo by Geoff Dale/Getty Images)

New Zealand’s most successful Paralympic shooter Michael Johnson has been honoured in London by being named New Zealand’s flag bearer for the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.

The announcement was made at the Team’s official Welcome Ceremony, held at New Zealand House where both New Zealand's High Commissioner Derek Leask and local Maori cultural group from Ngati Ranana welcomed the athletes.

Johnson became New Zealand’s first shooting world champion when he recorded a perfect 600 score in the SH2 prone air rifle event at the 2006 IPC World Championships. He also claimed a gold medal at the previous 2010 World Championships in the SH2 50m air rifle prone category in Croatia.

The category SH2 means Johnson can use a spring to support the weight of the rifle when shooting.

Johnson began shooting in 2002 and at his first Paralympic Games in Athens 2004, he won a gold medal by beating the 1996 Paralympic champion Thomas Johansson of Sweden.

In his spare time, he is a coach who encourages other people with disability to take up Paralympic sport. For his efforts in the community and services to Paralympic sport, he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011.

Michael Johnson and Duane Kale lead their team to the New Zealand Flag Raising Ceremony at the Olympic Park © • Getty Images

SKY Sport will start the full coverage of the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony on 30 August at 7:30 [New Zealand time]. From 30 August through to the Closing Ceremony on 10 September, SKY Sport will broadcast both morning and evening sessions highlights from the Paralympic Games.



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