COC to announce flag bearer Friday

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER - The Canadian Olympic Committee marks the two-week countdown to the 2010 Winter Olympics Friday afternoon at Richmond city hall when it announces the opening ceremony flag bearer.

If the COC is superstitious, a woman will be chosen to lead Team Canada into the Feb. 12 B.C. Place Stadium extravaganza.

Speedskater Catriona Le May Doan (Salt Lake 2002) and hockey player Danielle Goyette (Torino 2006) came home with gold medals after being flag bearers, but freestyle skier Jean Luc Brassard (Nagano 1998) and figure skater Kurt Browning (Lillehammer 1994) failed to make it to the podium.

“Being a flag bearer is the greatest honour you can have as an athlete, you’re representing the hopes and dreams of the people you’re marching in with,” said sprinter Charmaine Crooks, who carried the maple leaf flag at Atlanta 1996.

Crooks won silver at Los Angeles 1984 and is a board member with Vancouver's Olympic organizing committee.

Suburban Richmond is site of the $178 million Richmond Olympic Oval speedskating arena, the Games' showcase venue.

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