(Reuters) - Triathlete Simon Whitfield was named Canada's flag-bearer for the London Games, the national Olympic committee said on Thursday.
Whitfield, who won the inaugural Olympic triathlon event at Sydney in 2000, said he was overwhelmed when former gold medal swimmer Mark Tewksbury called to say he would lead Canada's team at the July 27 opening ceremonies.
"Once I got over the shock of how cool it was that Mark called, my thoughts turned to all of the incredibly talented Canadian athletes on this team," Whitfield said in a statement.
"It's an honor to have the opportunity to carry our flag while representing the sport of triathlon, but more importantly, it's a privilege to be the one who will lead this amazing team of Canadian athletes."
Whitfield, who also earned a silver medal in 2008 at the Beijing Games, carried the Canadian flag at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympics after a late burst of speed over the final meters of the run earned the unknown a surprise victory.
"Simon Whitfield is truly a fitting representative of this year's team and how they see themselves which, in their own words, is fierce. Proud. World-Class. Relentless. Unbreakable," Tewksbury, Canada's Olympic chef de mission, said while making the announcement in Ottawa.
The London Games are from July 27-August12.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)