Massachusetts man to carry Haiti’s flag at Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 31: General view of the Olympic rings ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games on July 31, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Christian Petersen / Getty Images

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Haitian-born wrestling coach from western Massachusetts will carry the flag for the Caribbean nation in the opening ceremonies for the Rio Olympics.

Asnage Castelly says the Olympic Committee of Haiti chose him as flag bearer from a pool of 11 athletes representing a variety of sports. The games open Friday.

Castelly is an assistant wresting coach at Springfield Technical Community College.

He is Haiti’s only wrestler in Rio, and this is his first Olympics.

Thirty-seven-year-old Castelly left his impoverished homeland at age 9. He says he’s honored to have been selected to carry Haiti’s flag.