Flag-bearer Benfeito consults Virtue and Moir ahead of Commonwealth Games - InfoNews

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Flag-bearer Benfeito consults Virtue and Moir ahead of Commonwealth Games

Canada's Meaghan Benfeito celebrates winning bronze in the women's 10m platform final at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. Diver Benfeito admits to some butterflies ahead of her role as Canada's flag-bearer at Wednesday's opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
April 02, 2018 - 6:05 PM

GOLD COAST, Australia - Diver Meaghan Benfeito admits to some butterflies ahead of her role as Canada's flag-bearer at Wednesday's opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"I'm getting a little nervous but (I'm) excited," said the 29-year-old from Montreal.

Benfeito has had some good role medals. She has trained with Olympic champion ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who carried the Canadian flag into the Pyeongchang Olympics.

"They're people that I look up to," said Benfeito. "I was able to train with them for the last couple of months leading up to their Olympics. We train at the B2ten gym so I was able to talk to them about it.

"But not any tips about carrying the flag. Just trying to focus on competition."

The two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist and three-time Olympic bronze medallist will lead Canada's team of 280-plus athletes into Carrara Stadium.

"It is a great honour. Not very many athletes get to do this throughout their career so I kind of feel like it's a privilege," she said. "Obviously I did work hard for it but it's just an honour to lead such an amazing country. I've represented Canada for the past 17, 18 years, so to be able to wave that flag (walking) into an opening ceremonies is something that I'll never forget."

Canada, which finished third in the Commonwealth Games medal table four years ago in Glasgow with 82 (32 gold, 16 silver, 34 bronze) behind England's 174 (58-59-57) and Australia's 137 (49-42-46), will likely start collecting hardware on the first day of competition.

Canadians in action Thursday include swimmers Penny Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck and the men's gymnastics team and cycling track team (women's and men's team pursuit and women's team sprint). There are also medals up for grabs in triathlon and weightlifting.

Canada's goal at the Gold Coast is to win 100-plus medals.

The games have drawn some 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 countries. The 11-day event features competition in 18 sports and seven para-sports.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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