8 Feb 2014

Sport: Tongan luge star says carrying flag at games was emotional

9:18 am on 8 February 2014

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has declared the Sochi Winter Games officially open, after a spectacular opening ceremony at the Black Sea resort.

More than 40,000 people were at Sochi's new state-of-the-art arena, including more than 40 world leaders.

Organisers presented a journey through Russian history through the eyes of a young girl.

And as the athletes emerged for their parade, a giant satellite image of each nation taken from space was projected onto the floor of the stadium.

Tongan luge star Bruno Banani carried the Tongan flag at the opening ceremony.

The 28 year old, nicknamed 'The Flying Coconut, is the only Pacific Islands athlete at the Sochi games, where he begins competition early tomorrow morning.

Banani says carrying the Tongan flag into the ceremony was a moving experience.

"Oh it's amazing the feeling, I can't explain how happy I am, walking in today to the opening ceremony and holding this Tongan flag was just incredible"

Bruno Banani will also be in action on Monday morning at the Sanki Sliding Center.