The most decorated olympian of all time will carry the US flag at the Olympics opening ceremony

Image: Jonathan Moore/ getty images

Team USA is kicking off the 2016 Rio Olympics by bestowing the honored name of pennant bearer on the most decorated Olympian of all time, swimmer Michael Phelps.

The decision to allow the famed athlete to conduct Team USA into Rio’s Maracan Stadium during Friday’s opening ceremony is fitting since Rio is set to be Phelps’ final Olympic challenge.

In a interrogation Wednesday morning, Phelps told Today the honor is, “something I’m apparently looking forward to…There’s emphatically going to be a lot of emotions.”

Though it showed as though we investigated the last of the 18 -time gold medalist after the 2012 Olympics, the swimmer aimed his retirement back in April 2014 and announced he was training to compete in this year’s competitions. The 2016 Rio Olympics will mark Phelps’ fifth and likely final Games.

According to Today, Phelps will be the first swimmer since Gary Hall in 1976 to carry the U.S. flag during the opening ceremony.

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