Flag bearers for GB Team at Virtus Global Games announced

GB Flagbearers Ellen Stephenson & Dominic Iannotti

Multi-medallists, Ellen Stephenson (swimming) and Dominic Iannotti (tennis) have been chosen to lead the British Team as flag bearers at today’s Global Games Opening Ceremony in Vichy.

 As preparations gear up, and 45 nations congregate in the centre of Vichy, the Athlete Parade will leave the Vichy Town Hall and walk to the Opera House where the Ceremony will begin.

Chosen from 35 athletes across six sports in the GB Team, both Stephenson and Iannotti will go down in the Global Games history books as they take on this tremendous honour.

Dominic Iannotti (Tennis) said

I’m honoured to be one of the GB flag bearers at this year’s Global Games especially since we haven’t competed since COVID.  ‘Thanks for the nomination and can’t wait to get started.’


Ellen Stephenson said

‘It is such an honour to carry your Country’s flag at the Opening Ceremony.  I am really proud and looking forward to a great Opening Ceremony in a beautiful city with my GB teammates.’


GB Team arrived at Vichy Town Hall ready for Athlete Parade

Tracey McCillen, Chief Executive, SportExcel UK says

‘For Dominic and Ellen, this is a special moment in their careers that will be remembered for many years to come.  Every single athlete on the team is deserving of the honour, so its hugely challenging to choose.  I hope that the whole team have an incredible Parade and Opening Ceremony, and for Dominic and Ellen, savour every single second of this incredible moment.”


The Athlete Parade leaves at 3.30pm (GMT+1) today, Sunday 4th June, from Vichy Town Hall, Mairie de Vichy and will progress to the Vichy Opera House, where the Ceremony will be held from 5pm (UK time).  The Opening Ceremony is a ticketed event, with spectators, friends, and family able to access the big screen broadcast in the Opera House through a wristband scheme.

Scenes from Vichy as Teams begin to arrive

The Virtus Global Games, 2nd to 11th June 2023, is the world’s largest elite sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment. Athletes from Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania will perform across 13 sports with over 1200 athletes expected from 45 nations. Demonstration events are included at every edition to reflect the most popular sports of the host nation that are not already on the Virtus programme.

Many athletes who have made their major international debut at the Global Games have gone on to win Paralympic titles. The event, hosted by the Virtus Member Organisation for France – the Fédération Française du Sport Adapté (FFSA) is scheduled every 4 years in the year ahead of the Paralympic Games.

British athletes will compete in the 2023 Global Games in athletics, para-dressage, judo, karate, swimming, and tennis. The Team is presented by SportExcelUK in collaboration with Down Syndrome Swimming GB, British Judo Association, Lawn Tennis Association, and the British Karate Federation, with selection supported by Home Country NGBs in swimming and athletics.

SportExcelUK promotes, supports, and facilitates talented sports people in the UK to train, compete and excel in national and international sport. It is the only official Great Britain member of Virtus is responsible for and manages eligibility and classification across the UK and manages GB Teams to Virtus events.

The Opening Ceremony will be broadcast from the official Global Games website www.gg2023.org at 5pm on 4th June.

Follow the action, livestream and all the results on https://gg2023.org/en/  For more information on the GB Team, contact SportExcelUK. [ENDS]