Canada named a star hockey player as its Opening Ceremony flag bearer for the Sochi Olympics.
Six-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser will lead the delegation on Feb. 7. Wickenheiser, regarded by many as the greatest women’s hockey player ever, has played at all four Olympic hockey tournaments and in softball at the 2000 Olympics.
Canada has won the last three Olympic hockey gold medals after losing to the U.S. in the first Olympic women’s hockey gold-medal game in 1998.
Wickenheiser took the Athletes’ Oath at the 2010 Opening Ceremony.
Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby was thought to be a candidate after being named the men’s hockey team captain. Pens fans should be relieved he isn’t going to Sochi early, as the club has a game the day of Opening Ceremony before the NHL’s Olympic break.
Speed skater Clara Hughes carried the flag for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Opening Ceremony. Figure skater Joannie Rochette carried it in the Closing Ceremony.
Canada won the most gold medals in 2010 and is again expected to be among the overall and gold medal leaders in Sochi with the U.S., Germany and Norway.
The U.S. and Russia have not named Opening Ceremony flag bearers yet.