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Canada names Olympic Opening Ceremony flag bearers

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Figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are Canada’s flag bearers for the PyeongChang Olympic Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9.

It’s the first time Canada will have multiple flag bearers at an Opening Ceremony.

Virtue and Moir won ice dance gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and silver in Sochi in 2014.

After a two-year break, they went undefeated last season and won their third world championship.

They lost for the first time in their comeback at last month’s Grand Prix Final to French Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.

Canada finished in the top three in the total medal standings at the last three Winter Olympics, including topping the gold-medal standings at the 2010 Vancouver Games with a record 14.

Recent Canadian Winter Olympic flag bearers
2014 Opening: Hayley Wickenheiser, Hockey
2014 Closing: Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, Bobsled
2010 Opening: Clara Hughes, Speed Skating
2010 Closing: Joannie Rochette, Figure Skating
2006 Opening: Danielle Goyette, Hockey
2006 Closing: Cindy Klassen, Speed Skating
2002 Opening: Catriona Le May Doan, Speed Skating
2002 Closing: Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Figure Skating

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MORE: Canada’s Olympic figure skating team roster

Canada Olympic men’s hockey roster

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The Canada Olympic men’s hockey roster seeking the nation’s third straight gold medal of course looks very different than in 2010 and 2014.

In fact, the 25-man team named Thursday includes zero players with Olympic experience.

Canada is ranked No. 1 in the world but is one of the teams hardest hit by the NHL’s decision not to participate in the Olympics for the first time since 1994.

That was very apparent in a pre-Olympic tournament last month, when lowly South Korea led 2-1 after the first period against a Canadian team that included many skaters named to the Olympic team.

Canada will try to become the first nation to win three straight Olympic men’s hockey titles since the Soviet Union/Unified Team in 1984, 1988 and 1992.

Former Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins is the head coach.

The Olympic favorite is Russia, since it is expected to lean heavily on KHL stars such as four-time Olympians Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Canada Olympic Men’s Hockey Roster
Goalies (NHL Games)
Justin Peters (83) — German League
Kevin Poulin (50) — Austrian League
Ben Scrivens (144) — Russian League

Defensemen (NHL Games)
Stefan Elliott (84) — Swedish League
Chay Genoway (1) — Russian League
Cody Goloubef (129) — AHL
Marc-Andre Gragnani (78) — Russian League
Chris Lee (0) — Russian League
Maxim Noreau (6) — Swiss League
Mat Robinson (0) — Russian League
Karl Stollery (23) — Russian League

Forwards (NHL Games)
Rene Bourque (725) — Swedish League
Gilbert Brule (299) — Russian League
Andrew Ebbett (224) — Swiss League
Quentin Howden (97) — Russian League
Chris Kelly (833) — Unsigned
Rob Klinkhammer (193) — Russian League
Brandon Kozun (20) — Russian League
Maxim Lapierre (614) — Swiss League
Eric O’Dell (41) — Russian League
Mason Raymond (546) — Swiss League
Derek Roy (738) — Swedish League
Christian Thomas (27) — AHL
Linden Vey (138) — Russian League
Wojtek Wolski (451) — Russian League

The players have a combined 5,544 games of NHL experience, or an average of 222 games per player.

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MORE: Full Olympic hockey schedule

Exactly one year ago today I laid in a hospital bed after having surgery to fix a broken neck. Today I am so proud and excited to have been named to Canada’s Olympic Hockey Team. I look at the picture of me in the hospital and can’t help but cry. Mostly tears of happiness, but I am filled with so many emotions about what I have overcome. I could never have imagined that I would be so lucky one year later. I want to take this moment to thank everyone for all the amazing support along the way. Without my family and friends, I don’t think any of it would be possible. @jesselammers has been an absolute superstar through all of it. Thank you and I Love you. When I say family and friends that most definitely includes @matt_nichol @mgivelos @mikeprebeg @sk8onhockey @marylalancette @dmartella12 @carnz74 @biosteelsports , Dr.Forman, Dr.Ford, Dr.Galea . This amazing group helped me literally get back on my feet and then back on the ice. Absolutely thrilled to be representing Canada and defending Gold in Pyeongchang. @hockeycanada @teamcanada @olympics #olympics

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Mikael Kingsbury breaks wins record; U.S. mogulist qualifies for Olympics

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Canadian moguls skier Mikael Kingsbury won his record-breaking 47th World Cup event, while Jaelin Kauf became the first U.S. mogulist to qualify for PyeongChang in Park City, Utah, on Wednesday night.

Kingsbury, the Sochi silver medalist, won for the 12th straight time on the World Cup, extending an unbeaten run since last January.

Arguably the most dominant athlete in winter sports today also passed U.S. Olympic champions Donna Weinbrecht and Hannah Kearney for the most career World Cup wins in moguls and dual moguls combined.

It took Weinbrecht 112 starts to reach 46 wins. It took Kearney 117 starts.

Kingsbury, 25, surpassed them in his 85th start, winning 55 percent of his career races and making the podium 80 percent of the time.

“They’re big legends, and to pass them is a big honor,” he said after Wednesday’s victory.

American Bradley Wilson took third in the men’s event and looks likely to make his second Olympics after finishing 20th in Sochi.

In the women’s event, Americans Kauf and Morgan Schild took second and third behind Frenchwoman Perrine Laffont.

Kauf, the 21-year-old daughter of two moguls skiers, clinched the first U.S. Olympic moguls berth. She has a win and two runners-up in five races this season and leads the World Cup standings.

Schild will clinch an Olympic spot with a podium in Thursday’s moguls event in Park City or next week in Canada. Even without a podium, she will still likely be named to her first Olympic team by a selection committee.

Wednesday also marked the first World Cup that none of the three Canadian Dufour-Lapointe sisters finished in the top eight in nearly seven years.

The top sister was Chloe in 20th place. Justine and Chloe went one-two in Sochi.

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MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for PyeongChang Olympics