After winning the most gold medals at the 2010 Olympic Games, we’re wondering whether Canada’s Summer Games athletes will keep our pride alive. Since the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, every Canadian flag bearer – with the exception of Nicolas Gill, who was eliminated in the first Judo round – has brought home a medal.
We’re hoping that we can keep that record going into the 2012 games, and with four-time Olympian Simon Whitfield as this year’s Canadian flag bearer, we’re thinking this year will be no exception. Whitfield is ranked 13th of 101 triathletes on the International Triathlon Rankings and with 14 World Cup victories it’s no wonder he won gold in Sydney and a silver in Beijing.
Simon’s athletic achievements are no surprise when you consider how much passion he puts into his sport. “I light up when I talk about triathlon because it’s a sport I love,” he says. “It’s accessible to everyone, and it’s a great fun sport.”
After former Olympian swimmer Mark Tewskbury informed Whitfield that he had been chosen as the flag bearer, Whitfield threw on his running shoes and ran to the Terry Fox statue in Victoria. “Terry is the epitome of what it means to be a Canadian and what it means to be an Olympian. His spirit, his toughness, his courage,“ he says.
Of 204 nations participating in the Games, Whitfield is the only triathlete who has been chosen to carry their nation’s flag. Although most other flag bearers include pro tennis players, basketball players, and track stars, the Canadian Olympian Twittersphere has responded positively to Whitfield being chosen.
Canoeist Adam Van Koeverden: “The most inspiring dude I know. @simonwhitfield is our FlagBearer and I couldn't be more proud.”
Heptathlete, and our latest cover girl, Jessica Zelinka: “@simonwhitfield . . . congrats on being selected as flag bearer!!”
Diver Alexandre Despatie: “Congratulations @simonwhitfield for being flag bearer of our great country! You are surely the best guy to represent us out there buddy! ;-)”
Our Canadian athletes have spent years and endless hours training for just two weeks of competition, some of whom only compete for one day, but we are looking forward to seeing some intense competition and seeing our summer athletes prove that we can be just as good in the Summer Olympics as we are in the Winter Olympics.