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Hockey captain Poulin, speed skater Hamelin to carry Canadian flag into Beijing Olympics

A pair of Olympic legends will lead Canada into the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

The Canadian Olympic Committee revealed on Wednesday that women’s hockey captain Marie-Philip Poulin and men’s speed skater Charles Hamelin would be Canada’s flag-bearers for the opening ceremony on Friday.

“Being named flag-bearer, I feel like I need to pinch myself. I’ve been able to watch Charles over the last couple of decades and watching him succeed, I will be very honored to be walking beside Charles, carrying the flag,” Poulin said.

Hamelin stated being part of Team Canada feels like family.

“Going into my fifth Olympic Games, it is really incredible. For me, that family is one of the biggest reasons why I’m still here and why I love what I do. Every time I would walk into an opening ceremony, I would look at the flag-bearer as a role model. To be named flag-bearer is something I can now check off my to-do list.”

The event will be broadcast live on CBC-TV and CBC News Network, beginning with the pre-show at 6:30 a.m. ET. Full coverage will be streamed on CBC Gem and the CBC Olympic website.

Poulin, 30, will be competing at her fourth Olympics in search of her third gold medal in Beijing.

The Beauceville, Que., native scored both goals in the Canadians’ 2-0 gold-medal win over the U.S. at Vancouver 2010, then followed it up with the late equalizer and golden goal in Canada’s comeback triumph over its archrivals in the final of the Sochi 2014 tournament.

But Poulin and the rest of Team Canada were forced to settle for silver after a shootout loss in the gold-medal game four years ago in Pyeongchang.

Now, after Poulin scored yet another overtime winner to clinch the 2021 world championships for Canada in August, the team will try to firmly re-establish its place atop the women’s hockey hierarchy in Beijing.

“It would mean the world,” Poulin told CBC Sports recently. “Canada holds hockey players to a high standard. We want to be the best hockey country.”

Poulin’s quest for more gold starts before the opening ceremony, when Canada takes on Switzerland on Wednesday at 11:10 p.m. ET. The bronze-medal game will be played on Feb. 16, with the final one day later.

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