Saanichton’s Micah Hart named B.C. flag bearer for Canada Games

Micah Hart of Saanichton will have the honour of leading Team B.C. into the opening ceremonies of the Canada Winter Games, which begin Feb. 13 in Prince George.

The captain of Canada’s under-18 women’s hockey team, which recently finished second to the United States at the IIHF World Championship, is a member of the Okanagan Hockey Academy.

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“It is a huge honour to be asked to be the Team B.C. flag bearer for the Canada Winter Games, especially with these Games being hosted in our home province,” the 18-year-old said in a statement on Tuesday. “I think it will be an amazing atmosphere at the opening ceremony in Prince George and an unforgettable experience leading in Team BC.”

Team B.C. will also be represented by gymnast Aaron Mah of Vancouver, who will be the official lantern carrier, and three-time Canada Winter Games wheelchair basketball athlete Avril Harris. The Prince George resident will read the Athletes’ Oath on behalf of all athletes at the Games.

Hart is one of 249 athletes who will compete for the host province. Team B.C. also includes 49 coaches, 27 managers and 23 mission staff as they compete against the best in the country in 19 sports.

“One of the truly great benefits of hosting the 2015 Canada Winter Games right in our province is that it shines the spotlight on Team B.C.,” Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, said in the statement.

“I know our home team will be excellent ambassadors as we welcome the rest of the country out west to compete and play in our backyard. And heartfelt congratulations to our Team B.C. flag bearer Micah Hart.”

The Canada Winter Games has developed such B.C. athletes as Vancouver Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis of Smithers, a 2014 Olympic gold medallist, and Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa. Serwa won silver at the 2014 Olympics in ski-cross and is the reigning world champion. She will also act as Team B.C.’s honorary captain for these Canada Winter Games, which run through March 1.

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