Team Canada Flag Bearers at the Olympic Summer Games
Who has carried the Canadian flag in the Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony? Here is the complete list:
Rio 2016: Rosie MacLennan, Trampoline
Rosie MacLennan was Canada’s only defending Olympic champion competing at Rio 2016. She went on to make history, becoming the first trampolinist to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals, the first Canadian athlete to successfully defend an Olympic title at the summer Games, and the first Canadian woman to win two gold medals in an individual event at the summer Games.
London 2012: Simon Whitfield, Triathlon
A four-time Olympian, Simon Whitfield won the gold medal in triathlon’s Olympic debut at Sydney 2000 with his memorable sprint to the finish. He added a silver at Beijing 2008 but unfortunately suffered a crash early during the bike portion of his event at London 2012.
Beijing 2008: Adam van Koeverden, Canoe/Kayak Sprint
After carrying the flag in the Closing Ceremony at Athens 2004 – where he had won gold and bronze in the K-1 500m and K-1 1000m, respectively – Adam van Koeverden carried the maple leaf into Beijing 2008. He went on to win silver in the K-1 500m and would add a K-1 1000m silver at London 2012 before calling it a career after his fourth Olympic appearance at Rio 2016.
Athens 2004: Nicolas Gill, Judo
At Sydney 2000, Nicolas Gill had become Canada’s first two-time Olympic medallist in judo as he added a silver to the bronze he had won at Barcelona 1992.
Sydney 2000: Caroline Brunet, Canoe/Kayak Sprint
Caroline Brunet went to her fourth Olympic Games in Sydney as the reigning three-time world champion in the K-1 500m after winning silver at Atlanta 1996. She won another silver in Sydney, missing the gold by just eight-tenths of a second. She would add a bronze in the K-1 500m at Athens 2004.
Atlanta 1996: Charmaine Crooks, Athletics
It was at Atlanta 1996 that Charmaine Crooks became Canada’s first female five-time Olympian in athletics. She had won silver in the 4x400m relay at Los Angeles 1984 and has gone on to play multiple roles within the Olympic Movement, including as an IOC Member after being elected to the Athletes’ Commission in Atlanta.
Barcelona 1992: Michael Smith, Athletics
Michael Smith went to Barcelona as the reigning world silver medallist in the decathlon. But he unfortunately pulled a hamstring during the first day of the gruelling 10-event competition and had to withdraw.
Seoul 1988: Carolyn Waldo, Synchronized Swimming
Carolyn Waldo had won solo silver in the Olympic debut of her sport at Los Angeles 1984. She came home from Seoul with two gold medals, winning the solo and the duet with partner Michelle Cameron.
Los Angeles 1984: Alex Baumann, Swimming
One of Canada’s all-time swimming greats, Alex Baumann was a double gold medallist in his only Olympic appearance at Los Angeles 1984 where he won the 200m and 400m individual medleys, setting world records in both victories.
Moscow 1980: Sue Holloway, Canoe/Kayak Sprint
Though Canada did not compete at the 1980 Olympic Games after joining the American-led boycott, a team was named and Sue Holloway was selected as the honourary flag bearer. In 1976, she had competed in both the summer and winter Olympic Games, in sprint kayaking and cross-country skiing. She returned to the Olympics at Los Angeles 1984 where she won two medals in the K-2 500m and K-4 500m.
Montreal 1976: Abby Hoffman, Athletics
The first woman to be selected as Canada’s flag bearer, Abby Hoffman got to carry the maple leaf in front of the home fans at Montreal 1976 as Canada hosted the Olympic Games for the first time. That was the fourth Olympic appearance for the 800m runner.
Munich 1972: Doug Rogers, Judo
Doug Rogers became Canada’s first Olympic medallist in judo when the sport debuted at Tokyo 1964. After judo was not included at the 1968 Olympic Games, Rogers returned to compete in Munich where he finished fifth in both the heavyweight and open events.
Mexico City 1968: Roger Jackson, Rowing
Roger Jackson was one half of the celebrated “Golden Rejects” at Tokyo 1964, where he and partner George Hungerford became Olympic champions in the pair in their first regatta ever together in the event. Jackson competed in the single sculls in Mexico City, finishing 11th.
Tokyo 1964: Gilmour Boa, Shooting
Gilmour Boa was a five-time Olympian who won bronze in his second Games at Melbourne 1956 when he and gold medallist teammate Gerry Ouellette famously both competed using Boa’s rifle in the 50m prone event. At Tokyo 1964, he came close to the podium once again, finishing fourth in the 50m prone event.
Rome 1960: Carl Schwende, Fencing
An eight-time medallist at the Commonwealth Games, Rome 1960 was Carl Schwende’s only Olympic appearance.
Melbourne 1956: Robert Steckle, Wrestling
In the second of his three Olympic appearances, Robert Steckle finished fourth in the 87kg Greco-Roman wrestling event.
Helsinki 1952: William Parnell, Athletics
In his second Olympic appearance, William Parnell competed in the 800m and 1500m in Helsinki.
London 1948: Robert McFarlane, Athletics
In the first Olympic Games after World War II, Robert McFarlane raced in the 400m and the 4x400m relay in London.
Berlin 1936: James Worrall, Athletics
James Worrall raced both the 110m and 400m hurdles events in Berlin. Though he did not win a medal, he went on to have a lifelong association to the Olympic Games, serving as a Chef de Mission, COC President, and IOC Member among other roles. Since 2002, Petro-Canada has presented the James Worrall Flag Bearer Award to the athletes chosen to lead Team Canada into the Olympic Games.
Los Angeles 1932: George Maughan, Boxing
In his only Olympic Games, George Maughan finished fourth in the heavyweight boxing event in Los Angeles.
Amsterdam 1928: Joseph Wright Jr, Rowing
The first non-track and field athlete to be Canada’s flag bearer, Joseph Wright Jr was a second generation Olympian, following his father Joseph Wright Sr who won two medals with the eight at St. Louis 1904 and London 1908. Wright Jr went home from Amsterdam with a silver medal in the double sculls. He would make his second Olympic appearance at Los Angeles 1932.
Paris 1924: Hector Phillips, Athletics
In his second Olympic appearance, Hector Phillips ran the 800m, in which he was the national record holder, in Paris.
Antwerp 1920: Archie McDiarmid, Athletics
Scottish-born Archie McDiarmid came close to the podium after serving as flag bearer, finishing fourth in the 56-pound weight throw. He also competed in the hammer throw.
Stockholm 1912: Duncan Gillis, Athletics
Selected as flag bearer after being the only Canadian featured in the New York Times as an athlete to watch in Stockholm, Duncan Gillis won silver in the hammer throw and also competed in the discus.
London 1908: Ed Archibald, Athletics
At the first Olympic Opening Ceremony to include a Parade of Nations, pole vaulter Ed Archibald carried the flag for Canada. He went on to win the bronze medal