The celebration started early yesterday, as the President of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Marcel Aubut, revealed for the first time on @TeamCanada and on Facebook that Mark Oldershaw, a third-generation Olympian who captured bronze at London 2012 in Canoe, will be Team Canada’s flag bearer at the TORONTO 2015 Opening Ceremony.
In what’s sure to be a dramatic and emotional moment, Oldershaw will lead Canada’s largest delegation ever at a Pan American Games into the Pan Am Ceremonies Venue. As the host nation, Team Canada will be the last team to enter the stadium in front of 50,000 live fans and millions of television and media viewers worldwide.
The passion and enthusiasm that Canadians have for Team Canada is unparalleled, and this fandom will only grow in the last 10 days leading up to the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games. Now, for the first time ever, Team Canada fans have a novel way to connect with their favourite athletes and other like-minded Canadians with today’s launch of Olympic Club, the new official online fan club for the Canadian Olympic Team – an all-access community that connects and rewards passionate Team Canada fans, 24/7/365.
Driven by social media and gamification, Olympic Club is a next-generation digital fan club offering physical and social rewards, one-click contest entry and exclusive content built for today’s fan base. With Team Canada having more than one million fans between Facebook and Twitter, making it one of the largest social and digital fan bases in the world on a per capita basis, the one-of-a-kind Olympic Club is the next natural evolution in uniting millions of Team Canada enthusiasts globally. The Olympic Club platform itself will also be an evolution as fans can expect new features, benefits and content to be added on the road to Rio 2016.
As this year’s flag bearer, Oldershaw will act as a champion for the Olympic Club alongside other past and present Team Canada members, including Curt Harnett, TORONTO 2015 Team Canada Chef de Mission, and Jean Luc Brassard, Rio 2016 Team Canada Chef de Mission.
Mark Oldershaw was born February 7, 1983 in Burlington, Ontario. The fifth member of his family to compete in an Olympic Games, he started racing at age nine. His athletic career, however, hasn’t been without its challenges and he has used sport to overcome many battles in his life. In 2003, Oldershaw developed a non-cancerous tumour in his left hand that required two surgeries and seriously impacted his training for two years. It was Oldershaw’s supporters, love of sport and desire to return to competition that gave him the energy and drive to fight back and recover.
This will be Oldershaw’s first time competing at a Pan American Games. Coached by his father, Scott, Oldershaw trains at the Burloak Canoe Club in Oakville, Ontario, with fellow medallist Adam van Koeverden. Appropriately, Oldershaw competes in a sport that uses the canoe, which is deeply linked to Canada’s history and heritage.
The Flag Bearer Selection Committee is comprised of one athlete representative selected by the COC Athletes’ Commission, Jeff Christie, the Chef de Mission, Curt Harnett, the two Assistant Chefs de Mission, Elise Marcotte and Waneek Horn-Miller, and the COC Chief Sport Officer (who is a non-voting member), Caroline Assalian.
Story and Photo from the Canadian Olympic Committee Website | Olympic.ca