<
>

Hughes chosen for opening ceremonies

RICHMOND, British Columbia -- Five-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes will carry Canada's flag at the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics on Feb. 12.

The speedskater was introduced at a ceremony that also included the official announcement of Canada's full Olympic team for the Games.

Hughes is the only Canadian athlete to have won medals at both the Summer and Winter Games.

"This is without a doubt the greatest honor of my sporting life," Hughes said. "For 20 years I've had the privilege of representing Canada around the globe in the world of sports, first on my bike and then on my blades. The experiences have shaped me into who I am today.

"I've learned what it truly means to be Canadian and in turn I've been inspired to make a difference in the world, however small it's been," Hughes said.

Vancouver will be Hughes' fifth Olympics. She won two bronze medals at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games in cycling and competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

She qualified as a speedskater for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and won bronze in the 5,000 meters there before competing in Torino in 2006.