Simone Biles Named Team USA Flag-Bearer for 2016 Olympic Closing Ceremony

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16:  Gold medalist Simone Biles of the United States celebrates on the podium at the medal ceremony for the Women's Floor on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The United States Olympic team confirmed Saturday that gymnast Simone Biles will carry the American flag during the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on Sunday night.

Biles won five medals, including four gold, during the Rio Games to immediately establish herself as one of the best all-around gymnasts of all time.

The U.S. Olympic Team decided that performance earned her the coveted honor of flag-bearer:

The United States had no shortage of worthy options for the position, with Team USA dominating the medal count.

Katie Ledecky matched Biles' medal haul, with four golds and one silver in Brazil. She scored some awe-inspiring victories during that run of success, including a world-record performance in the 800-meter freestyle to beat the field by more than 11 seconds.

Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab as part of the women's fencing team. She helped the team score a 45-30 victory over Italy in the bronze-medal round of team sabre, with one win and one tie in her two matches.

The U.S. Olympic Committee could also have gone all the way back to the first medal event of the Games. That's when Virginia Thrasher, a 19-year-old dark horse from West Virginia University, got the American delegation started on a high note by winning gold in women's 10-meter air rifle.

The one common theme between those three candidates, which represent just a small slice of the possible choices, is that they are all women. They have carried Team USA on their shoulders throughout the Games, entering Saturday with 55 medals compared to 46 for the men (four mixed medals).

It's hard to argue against the selection of Biles, though. The 19-year-old all-around gold medalist entered the Olympics with an incredible amount of hype and lived up to it, capturing the top individual gymnastics competition by more than two points, a remarkable feat.

So she'll carry the red, white and blue flag during the closing ceremony, after Michael Phelps served in the role during the opening ceremony. They are two of the best athletes in the world, and now they bookend a memorable, dominant two weeks in Rio for Team USA.