Chara Slovakia's flag-bearer for Sochi Winter Olympics

Bratislava, Jan 21 (IANS): Slovakia' top ice hockey player Zdeno Chara will be the flag-bearer for her country Slovakia at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Chara's name was proposed by Frantisek Chmelar at the 46th General Assembly of the Slovak Olympic Committee. Chara is the captain of Boston Bruins in America's National Hockey League (NHL), reports Xinhua.

"No one has received an exception, not even Oveckin, nor did the Canadians team captain, but Zdeno Chara did. It will be a great honour for him," said Chmelar.

"It is an honour, as this is the largest sporting event. It is always great honor to be a part of it. As well as being the captain of the national team. It is something special, as you are able to experience many different sports at one place and have a word with other athletes, while watching the games live," Chara added.

Bruins head coach Claude Julien said: "Zdeno told me and the General Manager Peter Chiarelli that he would be the flag-bearer for his country. Peter approved and had my support, as well. If you take a look what has been done by Zdeno, in the name of the club, it is an easy decision. He will carry the flag of his country at the Olympics even though he will be missed for two games. Giving him this exception is the least we can do for such a person."

Chara, born March 18, 1977, won the James Norris Memorial Trophy for the Bruins in the 2008-09 season. With a height of 2.06m, he is also the tallest player to play in the NHL.


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Title: Chara Slovakia's flag-bearer for Sochi Winter Olympics

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