Yule and Gilmour to carry flag for Team Scotland in Birmingham

·3-min read
Crowds will be packing into The Alexander Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham tonight, and Micky Yule and Kirsty Gilmour will carry the flag for Team Scotland.
Crowds will be packing into The Alexander Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham tonight, and Micky Yule and Kirsty Gilmour will carry the flag for Team Scotland.

By Tom Harle in Birmingham

Inspirational powerlifter Micky Yule and badminton stalwart Kirsty Gilmour will carry the Scottish flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

Bedecked in full kilts, the pair will lead the 261-strong delegation into Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium tomorrow night.

Gilmour is the first openly gay athlete to receive the honour and Yule is the first disabled athlete. They are also the nation’s first joint flagbearers at the Games.

Yule said: “This is definitely the highlight of my career.

“I’ve seen Scotland’s best athletes do this honour in Glasgow and on the Gold Coast. For myself to be nominated means a huge amount.

“I’m going to go out with that flag, drag the whole team with me and get us ready to start the competition as well as we can, to win these medals, get personal bests and make the country proud.”

Gilmour said: “It’s just super cool. You never go out gunning to be the flagbearer. It’s obviously a massive honour and one that’s completely unexpected."

Both have served their time on Team Scotland with Gilmour making her fourth Games appearance and Yule his third.

Army man Yule has a unique link to the host city.

After stepping on an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province that saw him lose both legs, he was flown back home via Birmingham Airport and treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

He said: “I flew here in a coma and spent eight weeks getting patched up.

“The people at the hospital saved my life, so it’s not all bad. It’s mixed feelings but I’m back here on a positive note, trying to win a medal. I’ve come full circle from ten years ago.”

Yule will hope to break his Commonwealth hoax having competed at Glasgow 2014 with a torn pectoral muscle and been in the midst of recovery at Gold Coast 2018.

“This is the first time I’ve turned up at an Athletes Village not injured,” he said. “I’m ready to go now, I’m in the best place I’ve ever been.

“I’ll be looking to medal, it will be the only thing on my mind.”

Gilmour became the youngest badminton player to attend a Commonwealth Games for Scotland when she competed at Delhi 2010 aged 17.

She said: “Some amazing athletes have carried the flag before me and it’s cool to be a part of that.

“I love representing Great Britain but quite often I’m joining an English majority team. To come together as a little Team Scotland, it’s really nice and I love the community feel.”

Now 28, she won silver in Glasgow and bronze four years ago.

“Completing the set of medals is the plan,” she said. “I think this might be the strongest the women’s singles has been, so it’ll be a tough ask, but that’s the plan.”

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