According to a Canadian Press story, Olympic show jumping legend Ian Millar of Perth, ON, is in the running to be the official flag bearer for the Pan Am Games opening ceremonies in Toronto on July 10.
The flag-bearer will be introduced on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill on Canada Day (July 1st).
Soccer star Christine Sinclair carried the Maple Leaf into the opening ceremonies in 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Mary Spencer, who claimed Canada’s first women’s boxing gold medal at the Pan Am Games, carried the flag out in the closing.
Here are the 10 possible candidates:
The 26-year-old from King City, Ont., won gold at the Pan Ams four years ago, then went on to claim her first Olympic title the following year. She has been the face of the Toronto Pan American Games and was the first of 3,000 official torchbearers when the torch relay started its cross-Canada journey.
The four-time LPGA Tour winner from Charlottetown has picked up nearly US$7 million in career earnings since her rookie season in 1996. The 50-year-old will be one of the big names in the field when competition begins July 16 at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont.
Adam Van Koeverden:
The two-time world champion was born in Toronto and is from nearby Oakville, Ont. He won Olympic gold at the 2004 Games in Athens. Van Koeverden, 33, carried Canada’s flag into the opening ceremonies at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
The 26-year-old swimmer from Victoria is a two-time Olympic medallist — winning silver in 2012 and bronze in 2008 — and a six-time world medallist. The veteran is the heart and soul of Canada’s swim team. Cochrane’s longtime coach Randy Bennett died in April of cancer.
The 25-year-old from London, Ont., finished fifth in his Olympic decathlon debut in 2012 in London, then captured bronze at the world championships a year later in Moscow. Warner is gunning for Pan Am gold, and is one of the most recognizable faces of a 90-member track team that should win the majority of Canada’s medals at the Games.
The 18-year-old rhythmic gymnast was one of Canada’s stars of last summer’s Commonwealth Games, capturing five gold medals and a bronze. She was born in Canada but has spent much of her life in Russia, and trained with Russia’s national program. She has dual citizenship and has chosen to compete for Canada.
The third-generation Olympian headlines the Canadian men’s canoe team at the Pan Am Games. The 32-year-old from Burlington, Ont., won bronze in the C-1 1,000 metres at the 2012 London Games and is set to compete in the same event at the Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre.
The women’s badminton star is looking for a repeat performance after winning double gold four years ago in Guadalajara. Li will have a homecourt advantage as badminton matches will be played at the Atos Markham Pan Am/Parapan Am Centre in her hometown just north of Toronto.
The legendary jumper has won nine Pan Am equestrian medals over his long career and will be competing at the Pan Am Games for the 10th time. The 68-year-old from Perth, Ont., is also a 10-time Olympian and holds the record for most Olympic appearances of any athlete in any sport.
The Montreal squash player won silver and bronze at the 2007 Games in Rio and did it again four years later in Guadalajara. He’s hoping to reach the top of the Pan Am podium in Toronto. The reigning national champion will anchor the men’s team competition and is likely Canada’s best bet for a medal in men’s singles play.