Who will lead Team Canada at the closing ceremonies?
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir lead the Canadian team during the opening ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 9, 2018. (Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, February 23, 2018 8:11AM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 23, 2018 9:53AM EST
PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of -- It's been more than a week since Mikael Kingsbury roared to gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics, showing the world why he's called "King of the Moguls."
The curtain will come down on Canada's most successful Winter Games in history on Sunday, and speculation is brewing about who will carry the Maple Leaf into Pyeongchang Stadium for the closing ceremonies.
Bobsledders Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse carried the flag in the closing ceremonies four years ago in Sochi, while ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir led Canada into the stadium for the opening here.
Kingsbury is among the favourites on a Canadian team stacked with good options. Here's a look at a few possibilities:
The 25-year-old from Deux-Montagnes, Que., is considered Canada's most accomplished freestyle skier, and is a six-time World Cup title-holder for both moguls and freestyle overall. The one thing missing was an Olympic victory until Kingsbury laid down a flawless performance to win the men's moguls here, giving Canada its third straight victory in the event after Alex Bilodeau's wins in 2010 and '14.
Canada has owned the top step of the Olympic podium in women's skicross since the sport made its Games debut in 2010 in Vancouver. It was Serwa's turn in Pyeongchang. The 25-year-old from Kelowna, B.C., who won silver four years ago in Sochi behind Marielle Thompson, captured gold in Pyeongchang, leading a 1-2 finish for Canada. Brittany Phelan claimed silver.
The 23-year-old from Sherbrooke, Que., carried on Canada's strong tradition in short-track speedskating, racing to three medals in Pyeongchang -- silver in the 1,000 metres, and bronze in both the 500 and 1,500. It was a roller-coaster Games for Boutin, who received death threats on social media after the South Korean star Minjeong Choi was disqualified in the 500. Some South Korean fans blamed Boutin.
McMorris won bronze behind Canadian teammate Max Parrot (silver) in snowboard's slopestyle event -- but the fact he was competing at all was remarkable. The 24-year-old from Regina nearly died less than a year ago in a catastrophic backcountry snowboarding accident. McMorris skied with a broken rib in Sochi, and won bronze.
The 30-year-old won Canada's first Olympic luge medal -- a bronze -- in Pyeongchang and then helped the relay team win silver. The medals come four years after suffering major heartbreak in Sochi. The Calgary native, who was competing in her fourth Games, was part of the luge team's fourth-place finish in the relay in Russia. They were briefly bumped up to bronze after two Russian sliders were among the 40 cited for doping violations. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the punishment for 28 of those athletes, among them the two lugers, citing insufficient evidence.
The freestyle skier won gold in the women's halfpipe in such dominant fashion, she'd already clinched gold before her third and final run. The 25-year-old from Comox, B.C., still laid down a tricky final run, saying she owed it to women's skiing to showcase the sport. She spoke afterward about the late Sarah Burke, who lobbied tirelessly for the Olympic inclusion of the event. Burke, whose husband Rory Bushfield is friends with Sharpe, died in 2012 at 29.
Bloemen raced to gold in the 10,000 metres and silver in the 5,000 in long-track speedskating, and credited his move to Canada four years ago for his path to the Olympic podium. The 31-year-old left the Dutch speedskating machine in 2014, and since his arrival in Calgary, set world records in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres. Bloemen added an Olympic record in Pyeongchang in the gruelling 10,000.
The Olympic rookie from Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., raced to gold in short-track speedskating's chaotic 1,000 metres. The 21-year-old was fourth in his semifinal, but advanced when teammate Charles Hamelin was assessed a penalty and disqualified. Girard led the final from the start, and left carnage in his wake -- two Korean finalists fell and slid into the padded boards, and a Hungarian skater was disqualified.
The 31-year-old from Calgary had twice tasted Olympic heartbreak, breaking his leg at the 2010 Vancouver Games, and finished fourth four years later in Sochi. He finally claimed skicross gold, navigating a treacherous Phoenix Snow Park course that had sent several riders to hospital, including Canadian teammate Chris Del Bosco, who broke four ribs, bruised a lung, and broke his pelvis in a crash.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford
Longshots perhaps after Virtue and Moir carried the flag in the opening ceremonies, but Duhamel and Radford made a case with their two weeks in Pyeongchang, both on and off the ice. Duhamel and Radford won bronze in pairs figure skating and helped Canada to gold in the team event. Radford made headlines as the first openly gay male to win an Olympic gold medal. Duhamel made news for rescuing a pup from South Korea's dog meat trade, and planned to whisk home another one.