Simon Whitfield has been selected as Canada's flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced on Thursday. Whitfield won the gold medal in triathlon at the 2000 Games, the Olympic debut of the sport, and then took home silver at Beijing 2008.
A winner of 14 World Cup races, Whitfield becomes the first ever triathlete to carry a country's flag at the Olympic opening ceremonies.
While some consider it a jinx, the 37-year-old Whitfield is honored, and looking forward to the duty:
"It's a good luck charm," he said after accepting the flag during a ceremony on Parliament Hill. "Look at the guys, the people who have carried it - it's so last century that it's a jinx."
Whitfield, who carried the Maple Leaf at the Closing Ceremony in Sydney, is one of only three triathletes - including American Hunter Kemper -- to qualify for all four Olympic triathlon teams.
The Opening Ceremony is July 27. The men's triathlon is set for August 7.