"Had to read the text 5 times & read it to other people to make sure": When Maria Sharapova was honored to be Russia's flag bearer at London Olympics

Maria Sharapova was Russia
Maria Sharapova was Russia's flag bearer at the 2012 London Olympics

Maria Sharapova once shared her excitement about being asked to be Russia's flag bearer at the 2012 London Olympics. She expressed her delight at receiving such an honor, recounting her experience of being offered the role.

Fresh off winning her maiden French Open title to complete the career Grand Slam, Sharapova entered the 2012 Wimbledon Championships as the top seed. She also added another feather in her cap by making history as the first female athlete chosen to serve as Russia's flag bearer for the Olympics.

During her pre-tournament press conference at the grasscourt Major, Maria Sharapova opened up about being offered the prestigious role. She disclosed her astonishment at receiving the message, admitting that she had to read it multiple times and even have others verify the text for her to believe it.

"It was huge. I had to read the text message five times and read it to other people to make sure I got it correct. But, yeah, I got it in the morning after my third round at the French Open saying if I would do something like that. I didn't even know if that was a question, but I was very happy to accept," Maria Sharapova said.

Sharapova also shed light on the personal significance of the Olympics, emphasizing that it had always been her "dream" to further elevate tennis in Russia by bringing home a medal as she made her debut at the global sporting event.

"Yes, so much. I've expressed my excitement I think for the entire year already. It's been a dream of mine since I was very young. Tennis in Russia when I was growing up till the age of seven was not very big," she said.
"Over the years, you've seen how successful it has become in my country and now how important it is to be a tennis player as part of the Olympics. Also it will be my first one and something I've dreamed of since I was a young girl, so I really can't wait," she added.

Maria Sharapova fulfilled her dream by clinching a medal for Russia at London Olympics 2012

Maria Sharapova won the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics
Maria Sharapova won the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics

Although Maria Sharapova suffered a shock upset to Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, she enjoyed great success on her return to the All England Club for the Olympics.

Entering the prestigious event as the third seed, the Russian kicked off her campaign with a commanding 6-2, 6-0 win over Israel's Shahar Pe'er. She also eased past Great Britain's Laura Robson 7-6(5), 6-3 to advance to the third round.

Sharapova then avenged her loss to Lisicki, beating the German 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-3. She continued her stellar run with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Belgium's Kim Clijsters in the quarterfinals and beat her compatriot Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-3 to set up a blockbuster final against Serena Williams.

Williams dominated the final, beating Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 to clinch the gold medal and complete the career Golden Slam in singles. Sharapova, meanwhile, took home the silver medal, while Belarus' Victoria Azarenka secured the bronze.

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Edited by Urvi Mehra
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