Poulin, Hamelin named Canada's flagbearers for Beijing Olympics opening ceremony

Feb 2 2022, 1:00 pm

Canada has selected its flagbearers for the 2022 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

And the Canadian Olympic Committee couldn’t have picked two more successful athletes, with hockey star Marie-Philip Poulin and short track speed skater Charles Hamelin chosen to march with Canada’s flag at Friday’s opening ceremony.

The pair has eight Olympic medals between them.

Poulin won a pair of gold medals in 2010 and 2014, while winning a silver medal back in 2018.

But that’s an understatement of how strong her Olympic performances have been: she scored both goals in the 2010 gold medal game, and added two more — the game-tying goal and the game-winner in overtime — in the 2014 gold medal game.

“Every time you wear that maple leaf, it is so much bigger than yourself. You just become part of a bigger family. Being named flag bearer, I feel like I need to pinch myself. I’ve been able to watch Charles over the last couple of decades and watching him succeed, I will be very honoured to be walking besides Charles carrying the flag,” Poulin said. “It’s hard to put into words but to now be the one with the smile on my face, it is truly an honour.”

Hamelin, meanwhile, has picked up a total of five medals in each of the last four Olympics, including a pair of golds at Vancouver 2010 and one more at Sochi 2014.

“Every time I would walk into an Opening Ceremony, I would look at the flag bearer as a role model. To be named flag bearer is something I can now check off my to do list,” Hamelin said. ” Marie-Philip is an incredible athlete but more than that, she’s an incredible human. I see her as a leader and an inspiration. I’ll be one lucky man carrying the maple leaf alongside her at the Opening Ceremony.”

Catriona Le May Doan, Canada’s dhef de mission for the games and a three-time Olympic medallist herself in speedskating, asked the pair to carry the flag via a video call.

The Olympics have unofficially actually already begun, with mixed doubles curling kicking off this morning. Poulin and Canada play their first game this evening at 11:10 pm ET/ 8:10 pm PT against Switzerland, while short track speed skating kicks off this Saturday.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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