Julieta Granada began her 2016 Rio Olympics by serving as Paraguay’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremonies. This week at Reserva de Marapendi, she’ll look to end her Olympic journey with a gold medal around her neck.
“It was super exciting,” Granada said with a smile when asked about carrying her country’s flag. “It was obviously an amazing moment for me and for the whole country. I was super proud to be selected to carry the flag and to represent all the other athletes, as well. So it was very overwhelming. It was much bigger than anything I have ever experienced before. Everything was so cool. It was amazing.”
While Granada represents her country every week on the LPGA Tour as the lone Paraguayan she admits that the Olympics have a different feel.
“Well, obviously unofficially I represent Paraguay every week, but this is a much bigger stage for golf,” Granada explained. “And as golfers, first of all, we are as a team representing golf in the village and around in our communities to make sure they respect golf and learn about golf, because it's obviously a new sport. But overall for me, it's obviously a dream come true; a recent dream, but still a dream. I'm just looking to experience everything this week and learning and just enjoying myself out there. It's something that not a lot of people get to experience, and I'm super proud to be able to carry the Paraguayan flag and hopefully Paraguay will cheer me on and have a good result.”
The past few weeks have already been filled with experiences that the 29-year-old LPGA winner will cherish for a lifetime but she is still hoping for another on Saturday afternoon at the top of the podium.
"I would be so happy. I would be happier than when I was carrying the flag, if that's even possible. I think my smile would take up my whole face. It would be amazing. Obviously you represent a lot of hard work during a lot of years, and it would put my country up there, which I would love to. But it would be amazing.”