OK, the flagbearers have been officially announced. There are 87 of them announced, as India, which will compete in these Games as Independent Olympic Athletes (IOA), will march under the Olympic Flag, so it seems they did not want to announce who will carry that flag.
No major surprises. As always, the majority of the flagbearers are former Olympic athletes – 52 of the 87 have competed at the Olympics previously. The 35 new Olympians to carry the flags are often from small countries, with only 1-2 competitors, or nations competing in the Winter Olympics for the first time, such as Dominica, or Timor-Leste.
Five athletes will be carrying their nation’s flag for the 3rd time at an Opening Ceremony – Albanian Erjan Tola, and Nepalese Dachhiri Sherpa both carried their flags in 2006 and 2010. Three athletes will be doing this for a third time, but not consecutively –Cristian Simari Birkner carried the Argentine flag in 2002 and 2010, the Mexican Prince Hubertus Von Hohenlohe carried his flag in 1994 and 2010, while Eva Tofalvi carried the Romanian flag in 2002 and 2010.
Several athletes will carry their national flag for a second time – Bermuda’s Tucker Murphy, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Žana Novaković, the Cayman Islands’ Dow Travers, Kyrgyzstan’s Dmitry Trelevski, and Moldavian Victor Pînzaru.
There are a few interesting notes about flagbearers. Hanna Mariën will carry the Belgian flag. She has competed at the Olympics before, but only at the Summer Olympics, winning a silver medal in the 4×100 relay at Beijing in 2008. Ivica Kostelić will carry the Croatian flag for the first time, but his sister, Janica, carried it three times at the Winter Olympics – 1998, 2002, 2006. And Todd Lodwick will carry the USA flag before competing in his 6th Winter Olympics. Only three times has an Opening Ceremony flagbearer done so before competing in his 6th Winter Olympics – Jochen Behle of Germany in 1998, Mike Dixon of Great Britain in 2002, and Finland’s Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi-Hämäläinen in 1994.
If you want to carry your nation’s flag, it’s a good idea to be an Alpine skiier, as fully 33 of the flagbearers will compete in that sport. Second on the sporting list is cross-country skiing with 15. Ski jumping brings up the rear with only multiple Olympic medalist Simon Ammann of Switzerland carrying a flag from that sport.
And here is the complete list of flagbearers. The order in the far right column denotes the order in which they will march into the stadium. This is done as follows: Greece is always first, the host nation is always last (Russia), and the others come in alphabetically, in the alphabet of the host nation, in this case, Cyrillic Russian.
Argentina,Cristian Simari Birkner,ASK,M,7
Belgium,Hanna Emilie Marien,BOB,F,11
Bosnia & Herzegovina,Zana Novakovich,ASK,F,14
British Virgin Islands,Peter Crook,FRS,M,9
Cayman Islands,Dow Travers,ASK,M,34
Chinese Taipei,Sung Ching-Yang,SSK,M,69
Czech Republic,Sarka Strachova,ASK,F,81
Dominica,Gary Di Silvestri,CCS,M,25
East Timor,Yohan Goncalves Goutt,ASK,M,70
Great Britain,Jon Eley,STK,M,17
Hong Kong,Pan To-Barton Lui,STK,M,22
Ind. Olympic Athletes,,,,50
Iran,Hossein Saveh Shemshaki,ASK,M,28
Macedonia FYRO,Darko Damjanovski,CCS,M,16
Mexico,Hubertus Von Hohenlohe,ASK,M,46
Netherlands,Jorien ter Mors,STK,F,52
New Zealand,Shane Dobbin,SSK,M,53
Norway,Aksel Lund Svindal,ASK,M,54
Philippines,Michael Christian Martinez,FSK,M,76
San Marino,Vincenzo Romano Michelotti,ASK,M,62
Togo,Mathilde Amivi Petitjean,CCS,F,71
US Virgin Islands,Jasmine Campbell,ASK,F,20
United States,Todd Lodwick,NCO,M,66