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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Figure Skating Flagbearers - trivial trivia and a gallery

Javier Fernández of Spain.
Over the years, a lot more or less prominent figure skaters have been selected to carry their countries' flag during the parade of nations. Most people probably still remember Brian Orser being a flagbearer in 1988, or have at least seen pictures of it. Click "read more" to learn some exiting facts on figure skating and flag bearing. You won't regret it, and with all the knowledge you'll be sure to impress at the next tupperware party. (Pictures of this years' flagbearers appear in order of the parade of nations.)

The first figure skater to carry the flag for the United States was Scott Hamilton in 1980. And he was also the last one. As of today, and much to my surprise, he remains the only figure skater to do so. On the other hand, since 1960, 7 speed skaters did have the honour.

Tong Jian from China, at his 4th Olympics.
Some figure skaters also carried the flag not at one but two Olympics. Among them: Kevin van der Perren (2006, 2010), Michael Shmerkin (1994, 1998), Galit Chait (2002, 2006), and Povilas Vanagas (1994, 1998), which does not come as a surprise, as he and his partner Margarita Drobiazko have been to 5 Olympics, which is still unmatched among figure skaters.

Deividas Stagniūnas from Lithuania.
The first ever female flagbearer was also a figure skater, Mollie Philipps from Great Britain, who lead out her team in 1932.

Alper Uçar from Turkey.
Like Vancouver, Sochi saw 5 figure skaters carrying their countries' flag. That is about average, but still only half of the record 10 figure skaters Torino featured as flag bearers in 2006.

Michael Christian Martinez from the Philippines.
The countries with the most figure skating flagbearers in alphabetic order (not necessarily correct information):

5: Canada, Great Britain, and Israel
4: China, and France
3: Belgium, Japan, and Lithuania

Honorable mention: Germany with 0 figure skating flagbearers. Think about this, Germany, and do your homework for 2018.

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