Zach Apple

First Leg of International Relay Takes Green Flag from Indianapolis to St. Petersburg, Florida

The green flag for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge once again will embark on an epic global relay to visit key figures and iconic landmarks before returning to Indianapolis and signaling the start of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday, May 26.

Two-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Zach Apple waved the green flag at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on March 7 to signify the start of its relay journey and to kick off the 100-day countdown to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming in Indianapolis.

“I grew up coming to Indianapolis to compete, and I remember seeing the signs ‘All Great Racers Come to Indy,’” Apple said. “To be able to help kick off the Green Flag Relay and the start of the INDYCAR season with a tie back to competitive swimming and the racing we’ll be doing here in Indianapolis this June is really special to me.”

Apple, now retired, is no stranger to a good relay. He represented Team USA in the 2021 Summer Olympics, where he took home gold medals in both the 4x100-meter freestyle relay and 4x100-meter medley relay.

“The Indianapolis 500 green flag is one of the most important symbols in all of motorsports, signifying the start of the world’s greatest race,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “There’s no one better to kick off this year’s relay than Zach. Just 20 days after this year’s Indy 500, Indianapolis will welcome swimmers from around the United States as they compete for their places at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Connecting these two global events further cements that Indianapolis is where legends are made and champions are crowned.”

NBC Sports INDYCAR SERIES announcer Leigh Diffey will receive the green flag in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding on Sunday, March 10, with the broadcast beginning at noon ET on NBC, Peacock and Universo. Diffey then will send the flag to its next destination.

To follow the flag’s adventures, use the hashtag #GreenFlagRelay across all IMS social channels.

Live coverage of the 108th Indianapolis 500 starts at 11 a.m. ET from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on NBC, Peacock, Universo and the INDYCAR Radio Network. Visit to buy tickets and for more information.