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Hayley Wickenheiser named Canadian flag-bearer for Sochi

Women’s hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser has been named Canada’s flag-bearer for the Sochi Olympics.

The Canadian Olympic Committee announced the news Thursday morning on Twitter. Wickenheiser was with the national women’s team in Europe and unable to attend the formal announcement on Parliament Hill.

Wickenheiser is Canada’s biggest women’s hockey star and a pioneer of the game. She will be making her fifth Olympic appearance.

Hockey Canada said the women’s players will march in the Feb. 7 opening ceremonies despite playing their opening game the following night versus Switzerland.

Wickenheiser read the athletes’ oath in the opening ceremonies at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Women’s hockey player Danielle Goyette carried the flag into the opening ceremonies in 2006 in Turin, Italy.

Long-track speedskater Clara Hughes was Canada’s flag-bearer in Vancouver. Figure skater Joannie Rochette, who captured bronze just days after the death of her mom, was given the honour at the closing ceremonies.

The Sochi Games will be held Feb. 7-23.