Statement by the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport) and the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, on Simon Whitfield Being Named Canada's Flag-Bearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Jul 12, 2012, 11:07 ET from Canadian Heritage

OTTAWA, July 12, 2012 /CNW/ - On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our Government, we would like to offer our most heartfelt congratulations to Simon Whitfield, who was today named as Canada's flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games.

In just 15 days, Mr. Whitfield will lead his teammates into the Olympic Stadium in London with our magnificent Canadian flag in the forefront -- truly an experience of a lifetime.

A total of 250 talented athletes along with their coaches and support staff will make up the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team heading to London. The Games, which will be held from July 27 to August 12, 2012, are expected to attract more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries.

The Harper Government recognizes that our ever-inspiring athletes are an enormous source of pride for all Canadians, and serve as excellent role models for our youth.

We have maintained record level funding to the Canadian sport system, including our support for the Canadian Olympic Committee, summer national sport organizations and Own the Podium, so that we can ensure our athletes reach the podium at every possible opportunity.

We look forward to joining millions of Canadians across the country to cheer on our Canadian Olympic athletes as they take on the world's best with pride, determination and the maple leaf close to their hearts.

A list of Canada's Olympic team members and other information on the 2012 London Olympic Summer Games is available on the Canadian Olympic Committee website at

SOURCE Canadian Heritage