RIO DE JANEIRO — Michael Phelps has a lot of memorable moments at the Olympics.

This one ranks right up there.

Adding another honor to his remarkable career, Phelps was chosen to carry the U.S. flag in Friday night’s opening ceremony at Maracana Stadium.

The pick seemed obvious – Phelps, after all, is the most decorated athlete in Olympic history and will be competing in his fifth Summer Games – but he was clearly overwhelmed Wednesday after being selected in a vote of American athletes representing each sport.

“To lead our country into this Olympics is something, honestly, that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do,” Phelps said.

Phelps got word of his selection Tuesday night.

“I think I had the biggest smile on my face that you could possibly find,” he said. “A little bit of emotion came over me. I probably shed a little bit of tears, just of joy.”

PELE, A THREE-TIME World Cup champion, said he was invited to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony but sponsorship deals could stop him from performing the prestigious task.

Pele said he was invited to light the cauldron by the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, and the Rio 2016 organizing committee chairman, Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

Pele, 75, said he has a commitment to a sponsor that would make him travel Friday, the day of the opening ceremony.

OLYMPIC LEADERS approved the addition of five sports to the program of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, including the return of baseball-softball and the introduction of youth-oriented events such as skateboarding and surfing.

The International Olympic Committee voted to accept the five-sport package, which also includes karate and sport climbing.

The five, which were proposed for inclusion last year by Tokyo organizers, were approved unanimously by the IOC members.

CARLI LLOYD and Alex Morgan scored as the U.S. women’s soccer team defeated New Zealand 2-0 at Belo Horizonte in its debut at the Rio games, getting off to a solid start in its attempt to win a fourth straight Olympic gold medal.

Lloyd put the Americans ahead with a header in the ninth minute and Morgan added to the lead with a low shot from inside the area less than a minute into the second half.

The United States remained undefeated in 2016.

The Americans next play France on Saturday.

Janine Beckie scored the fastest goal in Olympic soccer history, needing only 20 seconds to score for Canada in a 2-0 victory against Australia. It was nine seconds faster than Oribe Peralta’s strike for Mexico in the men’s gold medal match against Brazil four years ago in London.

WORRIED ICO members grilled the Games organizers about traffic jams, water pollution, security and the absence of signage to give the games its own distinct look.

The IOC president, Thomas Bach, also turned up the pressure by telling the organizing committee president, Carlos Nuzman, and the CEO, Sidney Levy: “It’s delivery time. Here we go. Now it really starts.”

Nuzman and Levy tried to be reassuring but acknowledged it had been “very difficult” to prepare South America’s first games, which have been plagued by slow ticket sales and worries over the Zika virus, crime and security, and costs.

BRAZILIAN RIOT police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse protesters in the path of the Olympic torch relay north of Rio de Janeiro.

Hundreds of people were protesting in the neighboring municipality of Duque de Caxias against salary delays of public workers in Rio state. A video shared on social media showed people protesting and being hit by tear gas or shrapnel before the torch convoy drove by.

Demonstrations have erupted in the path of the torch relay in the past couple of months in several Brazilian cities. Police have arrested people who threw water buckets at the torch in attempts to extinguish it.

THE WILLIAMS sisters, Serena and Venus, will be the top seeds in women’s doubles.

In men’s doubles, three-time major winner Andy Murray and his brother Jamie are seeded second, behind the top-seeded French pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.

In men’s singles, the top seed is Novak Djokovic, with Andy Murray seeded second. Murray is the defending Olympic champion. In women’s singles, Serena Williams is the top seed. Williams is the defending champion in singles and in doubles with Venus.

THE NEW president of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang said: “I assure you our preparations are firmly on track.”

Lee Hee-beom took over the top spot in May – the second leadership change in two years – and told IOC members attending a general assembly meeting that a high-speed train line to serve the resort was on schedule and would be completed in June 2017.