Why Brenda Villa should carry the U.S. flag at the Olympics Closing Ceremony

With just two days left in the Olympics, national organizing committees will soon start announcing their flag-bearers for the Closing Ceremony. Like in the Opening Ceremony, being chosen as a flag-bearer is an honor that goes to an athlete who has represented his or her country well.

While Team USA would be well within its rights to pick a retiring star like Michael Phelps or Misty May-Treanor, it could also use this opportunity to shine light on less-known sports that still delivered gold. It could also honor a four-time Olympic medalist who fulfilled the London Olympics motto of "Inspire a Generation." It could have water polo player Brenda Villa carry in the flag.

Villa has been the heart of the women's water polo program for more than a decade. She was on the teams that won silver in Sydney, bronze in Athens and silver in Beijing. Her play in those Olympics inspired Maggie Steffens, the 19-year-old star of the London team.

[ Related: Usain Bolt makes Olympic history ]

After water polo's overwhelming win in the finals, Villa has a gold to add to her collection. Unfortunately, water polo won about two minutes before the women's soccer team finished its gold medal-winning game. Most of the talk from Thursday was about the soccer team when both teams had impressive runs.

Giving Villa the spotlight during the Closing Ceremony would put water polo and Villa front and center, a spot they richly deserve.

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