Danielle Goyette Named Canada’s Flag Bearer For The 2006 Olympic Winter Games

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced today that women’s ice hockey player and two-time (1998, 2002) Olympic medallist Danielle Goyette (St-Nazaire, Que.) has been named Canada’s flag bearer for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

Canada’s 2006 Olympic Team announcement was held simultaneously at Olympic Park in Montreal and at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

The Calgary event featured Goyette, Chef de Mission Shane Pearsall and members of Canada’s women’s hockey, women’s curling and skeleton teams while Assistant Chef de Mission and 1984 Olympian Sylvie Bernier (diving, Ste-Foy, Que.) along with members of the Canadian short track speed skating and figure skating squads attended the announcement in Montreal.

« I am extremely honoured to have been selected as the flag bearer representing hockey, minor hockey players across the country, and all the Canadian athletes at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin,” said Goyette.  “I am humbled to have been chosen and feel it is a tribute to our entire team.  My teammates and I are all looking forward to making Canada proud in Turin.”

An Olympic gold medallist in 2002 and a silver medallist at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, Goyette, 39, has been a member of the Canadian National Women’s Team since the 1991-92 season. The second highest scoring player in the history of the Canadian National Women’s Team, Goyette is set to mark her milestone 40th birthday on January 30 – the same day the squad arrives in Turin to begin final preparations for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

Throughout her outstanding career, Goyette has represented Canada at more World Championships than any other male or female player in the history of Canadian hockey.  Over that time, she has won 21 international medals, including 17 gold. Apart from her success on the ice, Goyette has also received national praise for her unwavering charitable commitments.

A quintessential role model throughout her career, Goyette has spent numerous hours working with less privileged groups throughout Canada.  Among her charitable endeavours, Goyette has painted the Calgary Safe Haven for troubled teens, cooked and served meals at the Ronald McDonald House in Calgary, helped build playgrounds for kids and served dinner to less fortunate families.

Goyette will be leading Canada’s team into the Olympic Stadium in Turin for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremony on February 10.  Competing in all disciplines for the first time since 1988, Canada’s 2006 Olympic team is expected to include an estimated 200 athletes.  The complete team list will be finalized on February 6.

A total of six athletes and six teams will also be returning to defend their medals from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, including:

  • gold medallists Beckie Scott (cross-country skiing, Vermilion, Alta., five-kilometre Pursuit), the men’s 5,000-metre short track speed skating team and the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams;
  • silver medallists Jonathan Guilmette (short track speed skating, 500 metres, Montreal, Que.) and the men’s curling team;
  • and bronze medallists Deidra Dionne (freestyle skiing, aerials, Red Deer, Alta.), Clara Hughes (long track speed skating, 5,000 metres, Winnipeg, Man.), Cindy Klassen (long track speed skating, 3,000 metres, Winnipeg, Man.), Mathieu Turcotte (short track speed skating, 1,000 metres, Sherbrooke, Que.), the women’s curling team and the women’s 3,000-metre short track speed skating squad.

Canadian team members Thomas Grandi (alpine skiing, Canmore, Alta.), 1998 Olympic gold medallist Pierre Lueders (bobsleigh, Edmonton, Alta.) and Olympic medallists Clara Hughes (long track speed skating and cycling, Winnipeg, Man.) and Hayley Wickenheiser (ice hockey and softball, Shaunavon, Sask.) will compete in their fourth Olympic Games.

“The 2006 Olympic Winter Games represent an exciting time for high-performance sport in Canada,” said Pearsall.  “During the 2005-06 World Cup season, Canada’s athletes and coaches experienced an unprecedented wave of podium success and our entire 2006 Olympic Team remains focused on achieving a top three finish in Italy.”

“We are very proud to have Danielle Goyette carry Canada’s flag into the opening ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games,” said Bernier.  “Over the course of her career, Danielle has distinguished herself as an outstanding Canadian through her accomplishments both on and off the ice and we look forward to her continuing to represent Canada with class and pride in Turin.”

Goyette was chosen to be the Canadian flag bearer by a selection committee comprising Pearsall, Bernier, two summer athletes chosen by the COC Athletes’ Council Executive Committee and a coach appointed by the coaches’ representative on the COC Executive Committee. Previous Canadian Olympic Winter Games flag bearers include Catriona Le May Doan (Salt Lake City 2002, long track speed skating, Saskatoon, Sask.), Jean-Luc Brassard (Nagano 1998, freestyle skiing, Grand-Île, Que.), Kurt Browning (Lillehammer 1994, figure skating, Caroline, Alta.), Sylvie Daigle (Albertville 1992, long track speed skating, Sherbrooke, Que.) and Brian Orser (Calgary 1988, figure skating, Orillia, Ont.).