Swimmer Michael Phelps arguably is the greatest Olympian of all time, and he received another great honor Wednesday.

Team USA announced Phelps will serve as the United States’ flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony on Friday in Rio, Brazil, which officially kicks off the Olympics (even though events begin Wednesday).

“I’m honored to be chosen, proud to represent the U.S., and humbled by the significance of carrying the flag and all it stands for,” Phelps said, via the official Team USA website. “For Sydney, I just wanted to make the team. For Athens, I wanted to win gold for my country. For Beijing, I wanted to do something nobody else had done. In London, I wanted to make history.

“And now, I want to walk in the Opening Ceremony, take it all in, represent America in the best possible way and make my family proud. This time around, it’s about so much more than medals.”

Phelps owns Olympic records with 22 medals, 18 of which are gold.

The last swimmer to be the flag bearer for the United States was Gary Hall at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Thumbnail photo via Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps