OTTAWA – Commonwealth Sport Canada (CSC) today proudly announced Olympic and Commonwealth Champion Maude Charron and Commonwealth medallist and Paralympian long-distance racing specialist Josh Cassidy, as the Flag Bearers for Team Canada for the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
“These two athletes exemplify everything our team needs and respects through these outstanding role-models,” says Scott Stevenson, Executive Director, Team Canada 2022. ”Both are high-achieving athletes, but just as important, they are each great people who set an example for others each and every day.”
For the 2022 Commonwealth Games, a Games that will feature more medal events for women than men, participating nations and territories were asked to identify both a female and a male athlete. The Canadian call for nominations invited each Canadian sport participating in the Commonwealth Games to nominate up to two athlete(s) for selection. Nominations for each athlete were to identify role models that embodied the principles of fair play and ethics, and include athletic achievements, leadership qualities and the athlete’s commitment to community and voluntary service.
Weightlifter Maude Charron of Rimouski, Quebec, is an Olympic and Commonwealth Games Champion who owns the clean & jerk Commonwealth Games record. Known for leading by example, Maude was recognized for always finding the time to speak to those pursuing their dreams in the sport. Charron, who was named Quebec’s Female athlete of the Year in 2021, is an ambassador for clean sport and passes on her leadership by example through free in-person and online sessions with young athletes (8-17yrs) that focus on motivation and perseverance. An exemplary athlete known for her sportsmanship, Maude will also continue her dedication to community service into the future as she recently graduated from a Police officer training program in Quebec and will pursue her policing career in the near future.
Charron says she can’t wait to meet the full Canadian team and to lead it with pride and honor.
“This is a great privilege for me! It is always an honour to proudly carry the maple leaf and to represent the good values of your home country,” said Charron. “”I cannot express the pride I have in being able to lead the Canadian parade of athletes for this great team on July 28th. Just thinking about it makes me excited.”
Both Athletics Canada and Weightlifting Canada Haltérophilie were thrilled with the choices and excited to see members of their teams experience this monumental opportunity.
“We are thrilled with the selection of Maude Charron as Flag Bearer for the opening ceremonies of these Commonwealth Games. Maude is an outstanding representative of our sport having demonstrated the physical and mental strength necessary to reach the highest achievement in weightlifting. Through her efforts we are able demonstrate the possibilities for our future generation of weightlifters with hopes of one day participating in the Commonwealth Games,” said Deanne Friesen – Team Lead for the 2022 Commonwealth Games weightlifting team.
Joshua Cassidy of Port Elgin, ON, is one of Canada’s most successful international wheelchair racers. A three-time Paralympian, Cassidy has won the Los Angeles and Boston marathons and is a three-time Commonwealth Games athlete, having won a bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Having spent several years writing and illustrating graphic novels, his other passion is working on his creative projects in music, writing and art. Josh is known internationally for his work ethic and fortitude and he has
beaten every competitor in the world at least once. Nominated for his exemplary attitude, Josh has said he believes that his blessings have given him the blocks needed to overcome hardships and to build a life of success, love, and happiness.
“This is going take some time to sink in, but this opportunity is something that when you’re starting out as an athlete, to be a flag bearer for a games is always recognized as such a prestigious thing,” said Josh Cassidy upon learning that he had been chosen. “What an honour and what a huge surprise. Thank you so much.”
This announcement comes one week before the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. CBC Sports will stream the July 28th opening ceremony on CBC Gem.
Birmingham 2022 will feature 19 sports and eight para-sports as part of its program with up to 4,500 athletes taking part. The Commonwealth Games are the only multi-sport event that feature equal standing for sport and para-sport events, and these 2022 Games will showcase the largest para-sport program ever. In addition, for the first time in its history, the Games will feature more medal events for women (135) than men (133).
Photo and story courtesy of Commonwealth Sport Canada.