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Rio 2016: Who should be Team Canada's Olympic flag-bearer?

The Canadian Olympic Committee is set to announce the face of Team Canada at the Rio 2016 opening ceremony as the flag-bearer will be chosen Thursday (11:30 a.m. ET, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Here is a look at the top 10 candidates.

Announcement scheduled for Thursday on Parliament Hill

Clockwise from left, Christine Sinclair, Ryan Cochrane, Mark de Jonge and Rosie MacLennan have all enjoyed Olympic success. (Canadian Press/Associated Press)

By Matthew Cullen, CBC Sports 

The Canadian Olympic Committee is set to announce the face of Team Canada at the Rio 2016 opening ceremony as the flag-bearer will be chosen Thursday (11:30 a.m. ET, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. 

As the speculation grows, we offer a list of the top 10 potential candidates: ​

Ryan Cochrane 

Easily Canada's most successful distance swimmer, Cochrane is set to participate in his third Olympics. The 27-year-old from Victoria has been a mainstay in the men's 1,500-metre event, capturing bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and then improving to a silver medal during the London Games four years later. 

Derek Drouin 

The 26-year-old won Canada's only athletics medal at London 2012, earning a bronze in the high jump. By clearing 2.29 metres, Drouin's feat made him Canada's first high jump medallist since Greg Joy, who won silver at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Drouin, of Corunna, Ont., has continued his success post-London by reaching a new career high of 2.40 in 2014. He reached the top of the mountain in 2015 after capturing gold at the world championships. 

Mark de Jonge 

The kayaker from Halifax has shown tremendous perseverance on his personal road to the Olympics. After failing to qualify for the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, de Jonge's moment of glory came in the form of a bronze medal in his Olympic debut in 2012 in the K-1 200 sprint event. What's more impressive, he accomplished the feat despite being unable to paddle due to an injury suffered just weeks before the Games.

Jennifer Abel 

The Montreal native already has a decorated Olympic career despite being just 24-years-old. Set to compete in her third Olympics, Abel is coming off a bronze-medal performance with partner Émilie Heymans in the three-metre syncro event at the 2012 Games. At 16, she was Canada's youngest diver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Kia Nurse

The 20-year-old basketball phenom already has some experience carrying the Canadian flag. Nurse took Canada by storm at the 2015 Pan Am Games, pouring in 33 points en route to lifting the Canadians over the Americans in the women's basketball gold-medal game. For her efforts, the Hamilton, Ont., native was chosen to be the flag-bearer during the closing ceremony. A month later, she helped Canada qualify for Rio and was named MVP at the FIBA Americas Olympic qualification tournament. 

Rosie MacLennan 

The 27-year-old trampolinist won Canada's only gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The King City, Ont., athlete performed the most difficult routine in London en route to earning Canada's first-ever Olympic gold medal in trampoline. Participating in her third Games, MacLennan will attempt to be one of a few Canadians, summer or winter, to defend an Olympic title.

Brooke Henderson

​The 19-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., has risen to the top of the golf world by winning two LPGA titles in 2016, including a major at the Women's PGA Championship. Ranked No. 2 in the world, she is a serious contender for gold in golf's return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. 

​Christine Sinclair 

Kia Nurse isn't the only one with flag-bearing experience. Canada's most decorated soccer player held that honour during the London 2012 closing ceremony after she led the women's tournament with six goals, including a hat trick in the semifinals against the United States. While the Canadians lost in heart-breaking fashion, they rebounded to upend France to capture a bronze medal. The Burnaby, BC., native has played with the women's senior national team since 2000 and will be competing in her third Olympics. She ranks second all-time in international goals scored with 162, behind only Abby Wambach (184).

Brianne Theisen-Eaton 

In her Olympic debut in 2012, the Humboldt, Sask. native finished 11th in the heptahlon. Since then, the 27-year-old has rocketed up the rankings claiming silver medals at the IAAF world championships in 2013 and 2015. She is also the Canadian record holder in heptahlon after winning the Hypo-Meeting in Götzis, Austria in May 2015. 

Jennifer Kish

​The Edmonton native will captain Canada's women's rugby sevens team and is arguably one of the best female players in the world. Kish has demonstrated leadership and excellence, helping Canada to several strong finishes in international tournaments, most recently a gold at the Pan Am Games in 2015. 



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