OTTAWA — Olympic triathlon champion Simon Whitfield will carry Canada’s flag into the opening ceremonies at the London Olympics.
The 37-year-old from Kingston, Ont., won a gold medal for Canada at the 2000 Sydney Games where triathlon made its debut, and then captured a silver at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Whitfield was introduced by Canada’s chef de mission Mark Tewksbury at a ceremony on Parliament Hill, arriving in a London-style cab.
“To receive a phone call from one of your childhood idols (Tewksbury) to tell you you’re the Olympic flag-bearer and you’ll be leading your teammates, your fellow Olympians into the London stadium, it’s overwhelming,” Whitfield said.
He said he went for a run after the call from Tewksbury, to the Terry Fox marker in Victoria. Along the way, he said he thought about his fellow Canadian Olympians such as boxer Mary Spencer, and women’s soccer captain Christine Sinclair. When he reached Terry Fox statue he high-fived it.
Speedskater Clara Hughes was Canada’s last Olympic flag-bearer at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. She is also competing in cycling in London.
The opening ceremonies are July 27.
The Canadian Olympic Committee also officially announced the team that will compete in London. It comprises 277 athletes from 10 provinces and territories. They will compete in 26 sport disciplines, supported by 93 coaches and a mission team of 137.
Equestrian Ian Millar is the oldest athlete at 65 years six months six days while gymnast Victoria Moors is the youngest at 15 years eight months seven days.