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February 08, 2014

Wickenheiser, Chara, Ozolinsh Carry Flags At Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremonies


Of the 88 nations to arrive at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, four were led into the Opening Ceremonies by hockey players.

Canada chose 35 year old female hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser. "Wick" is participating in her 6th Olympics, 5 winter (winning 3 gold and 1 silver in women's hockey) and 1 summer (2000 Olympics playing softball).

Latvia was led by former NHL star Sandis Ozolinsh while Slovenia chose Tomaz Razingar.

Zdeno Chara left the NHL's Boston Bruins 2 games early to carry the flag for Slovakia. Here's a photo of his great moment.


That was the second most popular photo of Chara on this day. The first featured the 6'9" Chara posing for a photo with 4'11" Canadian figure skater Kirsten Moore-Towers:


Courtesy of the IIHF website, here is a complete list of hockey players who have ever carried the flag of their respective nation:

Chamonix 1924
Canada—Ernie Collett Sweden—Ruben Rundquist (official)
United States—Clarence "Taffy" Abel

St. Moritz 1928
Canada—Red Porter
Sweden—Viking Harbom (official)

Lake Placid 1932
Canada—Harold “Hack” Simpson
Germany—Martin Schrottle
Poland—Jozef Stogowski

Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936
Canada—Walter ”Pud” Kitchen
Latvia—Leonids Vedejs

St. Moritz 1948
Canada—Hubert Brooks
Czechoslovakia—Vladimir Zabrodsky

Oslo 1952
Czechoslovakia—Vaclav Bubnik
Switzerland—Uli Poltera

Cortina d’Ampezzo 1956
Czechoslovakia—Vaclav Bubnik

Squaw Valley 1960
Australia—Vic Ekberg
Czechoslovakia—Jan Starsi
Soviet Union—Nikolai Sologubov
Sweden—Einar Granath

Innsbruck 1964
Hungary—Lajos Koutny
Grenoble 1968

None
Sapporo 1972

None

Innsbruck 1976
Czechoslovakia—Oldrich Machac
Soviet Union—Vladislav Tretiak

Lake Placid 1980
Czechoslovakia—Bohuslav Ebermann
Japan—Osamu Wakabayashi

Sarajevo 1984
Czechoslovakia—Jiri Kralik
Finland—Jorma Valtonen
Soviet Union—Vladislav Tretiak
Sweden—Mats Waltin

Calgary 1988
Poland—Henryk Gruth

Albertville 1992
Finland—Timo Blomqvist
Poland—Henryk Gruth

Lillehammer 1994
Slovakia—Peter Stastny

Salt Lake 2002
Latvia—Harijs Vitolins
Slovakia—Robert Petrovicky

Turin 2006
Canada—Danielle Goyette
Kazakhstan—Alexander Koreshkov
Latvia—Arturs Irbe

Vancouver 2010
Belarus—Oleg Antonenko
Czech Republic—Jaromir Jagr
Finland—Ville Peltonen
Norway—Tommy Jakobsen
Russia—Alexei Morozov
Slovakia—Zigmund Palffy
Sweden—Peter Forsberg

Sochi 2014
Canada—Hayley Wickenheiser
Latvia—Sandis Ozolins
Slovakia—Zdeno Chara
Slovenia—Tomaz Razingar

Also, in the 1936 Summer Games Canada's flag bearer was a pole vaulter named Syl Apps - yes, the Hockey Hall of Famer from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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