Sudanese-born 1,500m runner Lopez Lomong, 23, was elected by US Olympic team captains [to carry the US flag] in what will be seen as an overtly political move to highlight China's contentious support for the regime in Khartoum.
Lomong spent much of his childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya after he was kidnapped as six-year-old from his village by Janjaweed militia only to escape through the wilderness.
The beauty of it is that, while it may be seen as a political move, there's no Olympic rule by which it can be barred as a propaganda exercise. Someone has to carry the flag, after all. Why not him? As Helene Elliott comments in the LA Times:
With one noble gesture the rank-and-file members of the U.S. team put their leaders to shame, asking Lomong - a member of the Team Darfur athletes' coalition - to lead them onto the field Friday.