A Vernon athlete will be Canada’s flag-bearer at the Paralympic Games in Russia.
The Canadian Paralympic Committee has selected wheelchair curler Sonja Gaudet to carry the flag for Canada at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games today at 8 a.m. PST.
“Being chosen to be the flag-bearer for the Canadian Paralympic team is an incredibly huge honor,” said Gaudet.
“I have so many emotions going on in my mind right now and they are all good.”
Gaudet is the world’s most decorated wheelchair curler, having won gold at the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games and at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Her long list of achievements also includes gold medals from the 2009, 2011 and 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
“Sonja is also an influential spokesperson within the parasport community in Canada and conducts herself with exceptional professionalism,” said Ozzie Sawicki, Team Canada chef de mission.
“A true team player, Sonja will represent our country with pride.”
Gaudet hopes her role in the opening ceremony sends a message.
“I am so excited to enter the stadium with my Canadian wheelchair curling teammates and to be representing all of my fellow Canadian Paralympic athletes here at the Games and across Canada,” she said.
“I hope to lead by example and send a message of ability and not disability. And that it’s not about what’s missing, it’s about what’s there.”
Canada’s first game is against Great Britain tonight at 9:30 p.m. (PST).