A Look back to the Future

By Gemma Martin from The Reporter's Academy.

The Oceania nations have revealed their flag bearers to the public, at the Oceania team welcome at ‘The Scoop’, a public amphitheatre, in London.

Dennis Miller, Executive director at Oceania National Olympic Committee, introduced all the different nations’ Chef de Missions. After reaching the stage area, Bill Kelderman, Palau’s Chef de Mission, called the rest of the team to join him whilst applause from the other nations welcomed them warmly. Each athlete and team member was then introduced with their name and sport to the rest of the nations present.

Bill then announced the flag bearer, Rodman Teltull a 100m-sprint athlete, and explained the link between England and Palau, which was established in 1783.

After being shipwrecked on a Palauan Island, Captain Wilson and the crew of the Antelope started to rebuild their ship after being allowed refuge on the island by the High Chief Ibedul, in return for defeating the enemy.

Chief Ibedul wanted both his sons to be Englishmen like Captain Wilson and so asked him to teach one of his sons English and to take the other, Prince Lee Boo, back with him to England. After five months in England Prince Lee Boo contracted small pox and died and is now buried at St Mary’s Church Rotherhithe. Visiting Prince Lee Boo’s tomb is now seen as a pilgrimage to many Palauans. Similarly there is a statue of Prince Lee Boo in his Englishman’s suit on the Palauan Island, Koror, in which he is wearing clothing similar to that which Rodman will be wearing.

Due to this important connection and heritage, the flag bearer, Rodman Teltull, will be wearing similar ceremonial clothing to that of Prince Lee Boo in his Englishman suit. To do this, Rodman had to receive the blessing of the current High Chief Idbedul., in which he received before leaving Palau to attend the North West training camps. Rodman smiled while he explain how he “feels very privileged” to be wearing the ceremonial clothing of that of Prince Lee Boo.

Rodman will be proudly wearing his ceremonial clothing as he enters the Olympic stadium leading his country around the track at the Opening Ceremony as the flag bearer.




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