Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of London, Ontario will carry the flag for Canada in the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. In an announcement made on Tuesday from Parliament Hill in Ottawa by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it is the first time ever that two Canadians will be carrying the flag together in an opening ceremonies of an Olympic Winter Games.
Virtue and Moir are very well deserving of the honour. They won a gold medal for Canada in ice dancing at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and a silver medal in ice dancing and the team competition at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Virtue and Moir are also a three-time world champion in ice dancing (2010, 2012 and 2017).
It will also be interesting to see if Virtue and Moir will now compete for Canada in the short program of the ice dance team competition. The opening ceremonies will be at 8pm Korean time on February 9 and the ice dance short program will be at 10am Korean time on February 11.
In the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, the Canadian flag bearers were bobsledders Kaillie Humphries of Calgary, Alberta and Heather Moyse of Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Humphries and Moyse won the gold medal for Canada in women’s bobsled for the second straight Olympic Winter Games in Sochi as they also won at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Humphries is also a strong medal contender for Canada in Pyeongchang, but there is uncertainty at this time who her brakewoman will be.
It should also be pointed out that Virtue and Moir are not the first Canadian figure skaters who have represented Canada in Olympic mixed gender figure skating, who carried the flag for Canada in the opening ceremonies of an Olympic Winter Games. At the 1956 Olympic Winter Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo,Norris Bowden of Toronto, Ontario carried the flag for Canada, but not his pairs figure skating partner Frances Dafoe of Toronto. Bowden and Dafoe went on to win an Olympic silver medal in pairs figure skating.