OTTAWA — Ice dance darlings Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will carry Canada’s flag into the opening ceremony at next month’s Winter Games in South Korea.
The Olympic gold medallists were introduced Tuesday at a news conference in Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was there to mark the occasion.
“The honour of carrying the Canadian flag into the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang brings with it a sense of duty, privilege, and above all, great pride,” Virtue said.
Virtue, 28, and Moir, 30, made their Olympic debut eight years ago on home ice in Vancouver, where they captured a gold medal and became household names.
They won ice dance silver four years ago in Sochi and added another silver in the team event.
The duo then took two years off before deciding to make one more run for Olympic gold. They say they will retire after the Games in Pyeongchang.
Their biggest challenge for gold will come from French couple Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, who edged the Canadians at the Grand Prix Final in December.
Hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser carried the Canadian flag at the opening ceremony in 2014 while decorated speedskater Clara Hughes had the honour at the Vancouver Games.
“In accepting this unparalleled honour, we commit to embodying the values and the standards that make Canada such a special place and we vow to embrace the Olympic spirit in its purest form,” Moir said. “Team Canada is ready and we cannot wait to be in Pyeongchang with the Maple Leafs on our backs and in our hearts.”
The Pyeongchang Olympics open Feb. 9.
The Canadian Press