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Lt Alex Kelly RN
Lt Alex Kelly RN

Merlin pilot at the Olympics

Published: 11 Apr 2012

Lieutenant Alexandra ‘Alex’ Kelley (31), who is currently serving as a Front Line Merlin Helicopter Observer with 820 Squadron at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, has been selected to take part in over 100 'team welcome ceremonies' and 805 'victory ceremonies' during the Games which will be seen by millions of spectators in London 2012 venues and a worldwide TV audience.

Alex was chosen through a Ministry of Defence nomination process highlighting those with sporting or operational achievements, or who are involved in their local communities. She will be part of a team consisting of six flag-bearers and one flag-manager.

Alex said: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am really excited to be part of the Olympic spectacle whilst representing the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Navy.”

Lieutenant Kelley is a keen sportswoman and has represented the Combined Services and Royal Navy in snowboarding, and has also represented the Royal Navy in Tennis and Hockey. In between these activities she enjoys swimming, kayaking and climbing.

Victory ceremonies take place when a medal event finishes; after the awarding of medals, the flags of the gold, silver and bronze medal-winning athlete's countries are raised while the national anthem of the country or territory of the winning athlete is played.

They provide a chance for athletes to formally celebrate their success, and allow their home country to be united in celebration as the national anthem is played and the national flag raised.

Team welcome ceremonies are designed to formally welcome the athletes and team officials to the Games and include the protocol of raising flags. There will be over 100 team welcome ceremonies taking place on the days leading up to the opening ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.


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