John Shuster and Brittany Bowe announced as Team USA flag bearers for 2022 Winter Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympics opening ceremony is on 4 February

Team USA has announced that John Shuster and Brittany Bowe will carry the American flag at Friday's Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

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John, 39, will make history as the first curler to carry the flag during the opening ceremony. The five-time Olympian called it the "biggest honor" ever. Speed skater Brittany has replaced Elana Meyers Taylor, after the 37-year-old bobsledder tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

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Elana called Brittany to tell her the news the same morning that the official pictures with Elana were released. The four-time Olmypian told Today: "I can't think of a better honor, other than walking by myself, than having the opportunity to give to Brittany.

"Brittany is an absolutely amazing human being."

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Brittany is a three-time Olympian, and she added: "To get called into the [U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee] room for a phone call, and then it was Elana on the phone, presenting me with the honor of carrying the flag on her behalf — what an honor, a privilege. For once, completely at a loss for words."

"The honor of a lifetime. Congratulations to @Shoostie2010 and @eamslider24 for being elected #TeamUSA's Opening Ceremony flag bearers at the #WinterOlympics," Team USA tweeted on Wednesday before the switch was confirmed.

Brittany Bowe has replaced Elana Meyers Taylor

The UK's Princess Royal was scheduled to attend but she will no longer attend due to "COVID travel restriction difficulties".

The Queen's only daughter, 71, who became the first royal to compete in the Games in Montreal in 1976, is a member of the International Olympic Committee.

On Saturday, a Buckingham Palace spokesman shared that "her Royal Highness sends her best wishes for the Games to the British athletes and supporting officials".

John Schuster was also named as a flag bearer

US diplomats will also not attend as part of a boycott in response to China's human rights abuses.

"We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games," Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said in late 2021, adding that government officials did not believe it was appropriate.

The 2022 Winter Olympics opening ceremony takes place Friday at National Stadium in Beijing, China. Live coverage of the Winter Olympics begins Friday at 6.30am/7.30c on NBC.

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