Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò have handed the ceremonial national flags to five-time Olympic speed skating medalist Arianna Fontana and Florian Plancker, captain of the Italian Paralympic ice hockey team, prior to Pyeongchang 2018.
Fontana, Italy's youngest-ever Olympic medal winner, will be the Italian flag-bearer at the Olympic Opening Ceremony with Plancker doing likewise at the Paralympic Games.
After presenting the flag to the athletes in a ceremony at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Malagò said: "It is a symbolic moment that encapsulates four years of dedication, of sacrifice, for any individual in any corner of the world who has achieved this difficult Olympic qualification.
"Since 1924, Italy has never had such a high number of qualifying athletes, aside from 2006 when we hosted the Games in Turin.
"This means that we will compete in 14 of the 15 sports and in precisely 95 of the 102 events.
"Thanks go to the work of the Italian Winter Sports Federation, led by Flavio Roda, and the Italian Ice Sports Federation, chaired by Andrea Gios."
Malagò added: "With 50 days until the Games, Mr President, we are ready to make an impression.
"For the country and also for you, Sir, our number one fan.
"We ask a small favour of you, to give up on but a few hours of sleep to follow us.
"Sport demonstrates that we are united and have great credibility abroad."
Mattarella added that "the whole of Italy" was with the team, adding that he would watch some of the events on television.
The Winter Olympics are due to take place from February 9 to 25 with the Paralympics following from March 8 to 18.