Canada’s flag-bearer Hayley Wickenheiser took Sidney Crosby’s advice.
The women’s hockey star carried the Maple Leaf high and didn’t trip as she led Canada’s largest ever Winter Olympic team into the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Games.
Representatives of Canada’s 221-athlete team looked sharp in red and black coats and toques designed by Hudson’s Bay.
However, not all of Canada’s athletes marched into Fisht Olympic Stadium.
Crosby and the men’s hockey team haven’t arrived yet, figure skaters are in the middle of the team competition and skiers and sliders are staying too far away from the host city.
Canada came in halfway through the athlete’s march, which was organized by the Cyrillic alphabet used in Russia.
The opening ceremony kicked off with an alphabetical rundown of Russia’s greatest figures and achievements, including author Anton Chekov, composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky and the Sputnik 1 satellite.
The opening montage was followed by a musical number that represented the geographical vastness and multicultural makeup of the host nation.
There appeared to be a small glitch when four snowflakes turned into Olympic rings, but a fifth didn’t make the transformation.
Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, says Canada’s goal is to contend for the most medals over the next 16 days. Aubut said the 220 athletes representing Canada expect the highest from themselves.
At Vancouver 2010, Canada won a total of 26 medals and was third place in the medal count behind the United States and Germany. That year, Canada had the most gold medals with 14.
Some of the Canadian medals could come in the new events such as the men’s and women’s snowboard slopestyle and team figure skating.
With files from Toronto Staff