26 October 2015

The last "Irish" hockey team in the Olympics

Yesterday I rather mistakenly said that it was the first time that Ireland took part in the Olympic Hockey tournament. I was wrong.

In fact in 1908 along with France and Germany there were representatives of the four nations of Great Britain and Ireland taking part.

Ireland Hockey team at the 1908 Olympics

The team was

GK Edward Peter Cowan Holmes b 25 Apr 1880 in Carrickfergus, County Antrim. He played for the Cliftonville team in Belfast.

Henry Joseph Brown b 1887 in Dundalk, Louth who played for Dublin University.
Walter Ernest Peterson b 7 Nov 1883 in Blackrock, Dublin who played for the Monkstown club in Dublin.

Half backs:
William Ernest Graham b 29 Jan 1886 in Dublin, who was another member of the Monkstown club.
Walter Islay Hamilton Verschoyle-Campbell b 14 Oct 1884 in Dublin who was another from the Dublin University team. He went on to become a Civil Engineer in Woolwich.
Harold "Henry" Lawson Murphy b 12 Dec 1882  in Notting Hill, London. Was a player for Three Rocks Rovers in Dublin.

Charles Frederick Power b 26 Aug 1887 in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India was another from the Three Rocks Rovers team. In the official Olympic report he is mistakenly listed as E.F. Power.
Richard George Stanhope Gregg b 9 Dec 1883 Portsmouth, Hampshire, England the third member of the Three Rocks Rovers team.
Edward Percival Allman-Smith b 3 Nov 1886 in Balbriggan, Dublin he was studying medicine and playing for the Dublin University team at the time of the Olympics. He went on to a career as a soldier, serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1912 though WWI and eventually retiring in 1949 with the rank of Brigadier after serving as Deputy Director of Medical Services from 1941-42 in Palestine and Trans-Jordan.
Frank Lubbock Robinson b 1886 in Rathdrum, Wicklow he was playing for the Malone club in Belfast, he died on the island of Jersey in old age.
Robert Lindsey Kennedy  b 31 Jul 1880 in Edenderry, Lisburn. He played for Banbridge but later emigrated to Canada.

Also listed as on the squad was Jack Peterson b 22 Jan 1880 in Dublin the elder brother of Walter who was also on the team.

In total the team played two matches the first of which was a semi-final against Wales. It was the third match to be played on the grass in the centre of the White City Stadium on the 29th October the second for the Welsh who had got proceedings under way

. The Official Olympic Report describes the match as follows.

In this match the Welsh halves and backs were seen to great advantage defence, especially during the early stages, Richards, Evans, Shephard, and Lyne being responsible for brilliant work. Turnbull also gave an excellent account of himself in goal, and despite clever combination on the part of the Irish forwards Wales held the lead until near the interval. When four minutes had elapsed the Welsh halves placed the forwards in possession, and good passing enabled Williams to reach the circle. Brown checked him, but before the ball was cleared Williams shot through. The Irish forwards then put their opponents to a severe test, and time after time Richards, Evans, and Shephard relieved their side. On one occasion Turnbull just managed to kick away from Gregg, who was close in, and a few minutes later a rush by the Welsh forwards was nullified by smart work by Holmes. Ireland continued to force matters, and a fine dribble, in which Gregg, Power, and Allman-Smith took part, ended in Turnbull saving at the expense of a corner, which proved futile. Then a penalty in front of the Welsh goal was cleared by Shephard, but Ireland quickly returned, and Robinson equalised from a pass on the right. This was quickly followed by another goal, a shot by Power glancing off Turnbull’s legs, so that at half-time Ireland led by two goals to one. On changing ends the Welsh forwards played well together, only to be intercepted by Peterson, Brown, and Campbell; and Holmes now and At the other end Robinson twice had an openagain saved fast shots. goal, and he missed the net by a few inches. Most of the play took place in the Welsh quarters, and, after Turnbull had kicked away from Robinson, Gregg credited Ireland with a third goal. From this point the game was of a more even character, the Welsh forwards passing in brilliant style, but there was no further scoring, and Ireland won by three goals to one.
Final Score Ireland 3 Wales 1

The final took place 2 days later on Halloween. Here is the report of that match:

At a quarter to two of a brilliant afternoon, on October 31, some six thousand spectators gathered in the Stadium to watch the final of the Hockey competition between England and Ireland. The ground had been well rolled, but had naturally suffered both from the constant use of the last few days and from the firework displays in the evenings, but in spite of this surprisingly few mistakes were made.

Ireland began in dashing fashion, and frequently looked dangerous, despite some splendid saving work by Noble. Five minutes passed by before England troubled their opposition for the first time, and then Logan shot wide from a good position. From the twenty-five yards’ bully Shoveller worked out to the right before hitting up a centre, which Logan just pushed out of the reach of Holmes, and registered England’s first goal. An Irish attack was broken up by Page, and at the other end a promising position for England was spoiled through Shoveller being penalised for turning in the ball—well inside the circle, too. Thirteen minutes from the commencement Robinson checked the Irish left wing beautifully, and going on, the Oxonian passed to Rees, who centred accurately for Logan to beat Holmes with a superb oblique shot. Nine minutes later Logan passed inside to Shoveller, who cleverly touched the ball for Pridmore to go through and find Ireland’s net at close quarters, England leading at half-time by three goals to love.

England received a startling surprise in the first minute after changing ends. Freeman stopped a hit by Gregg with his shins, from whence the ball rebounded into touch. The umpire gave a free hit, and Graham directed this so accurately that Robinson was enabled to score with a shot that gave Wood no chance whatever. Three minutes followed, and then Pridmore gave Shoveller a lovely pass. The Hampstead centre went through and shot at Holmes. Holmes saved, but failed to get the ball far enough away, and Logan nipped in smartly to increase England’s advantage. Next came a wonderful goal by Pridmore at an apparently impossible angle, but by this time England had taken command of the game and won with eight goals to one.

Final score England 8 Ireland 1

Ireland as a result won the silver medal.

It was to be the first medal in Olympic history that could be credited to Ireland though others had been won by Irish competitors before then. Though officially in the records this silver medal is listed as being on the four that GB won in the Hockey in 1908 Olympics, with Wales and Scotland both picking up bronzes for being beaten in the semi finals.

25 October 2015

Heading to Rio #TeamGB #TeamIreland

Yesterday GB's women gymnasts finished third in the team competition in the World Championships in Glasgow behind only the US and Russia. It is a performance that secures the team that narrowly missed out on team medals finishing 5th in London 2012. The men led the way after completing their competition on Sunday but with other nations taking part on Monday their qualification will not be officially made until every nation has completed.

Yesterday also say action at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. In the Olympic Trials David Florence took two wins in the C-1M and then pairing up with Richard Hounslow in the C-2M. It means that the pair who had the last run in the final in 2012 but were unable to unseat team mates Etienne Scott and Tim Baillie have provisionally booked the only spot in the event for Rio. The selectors will confirm the selection on 4 November.

Meanwhile a win for Australia today was enough to see Ireland's men's hockey team jumping for joy. The win for Australia over New Zealand in the Oceania cup final today means that the highest ranked team from the Hockey World League semi-finals in July yet to qualify for Rio secure a slot. The 11th place that Ireland's men secured in that event mean that for the first time Ireland will be represented in Olympic hockey.

Elsewhere, in Frankfurt, Scottish distance runner Callum Hawkins making his debut appearance in a Marathon finished 12th in a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes and 17 seconds. It means that he is only the second British man, along with Scott Overall, to have run under the Olympic qualifying time of 2 hours 14 minutes this year. Callum's elder brother Derek wore the blue of Scotland in last year's Commonwealth Games Marathon, while the younger sibling took part in the 10,000m. Derek, who is currently out with a foot injury will be inspired to have a chance of competing alongside his brother in Rio when he returns.

18 July 2015

Jules Bianchi 1989 - 2015

Jules Bianchi was not even five years old the last time Formula 1 witnessed a death of a driver in the top division of Motorsport. It speaks volumes that the 20 years between that fateful weekend at Imola until the crash at Suzuka some nine months ago is the longest in the history of the sport between fatal accidents.

His career was more like that of Roland Ratzenberger the "other driver" whose live was lost at that May Day weekend in Imola seeing as he was at the start of his Formula 1 career rather than a success like Ayrton Senna. He has made his debut for Marussia in the Australian Grand Prix at the start of the 2013 season. His only point for his team had come in Monaco in May 2014 where he came ninth.

However, his career in lower Formula had seen him win the 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series ahead of Valterri Bottas who was third  and now races for Williams-Mercedes in F1 and Esteban Gutiérez (now Sauber) in ninth. The previous year he had been third in the same Formula when it was Nico Hülkenberg (now Force India-Mercedes).

In 2010 and 2011 he moved unto Moto GP seen as the final testing ground in racing before earning a seat in F1. In 2010 he was third in the championship behind fellow graduates to F1 Pastor Maldonado (now with Lotus-Mercedes) and Segio Pérez (now Force India-Mercedes). The following season he was again third this time the winner was Romain Grosjean (now Lotus-Mercedes) who had been 14th the season before.

The Japanese Grand Prix last year was Bianchi's 34th start in him embryonic Formula 1 career. His team Marussia were facing financial difficulties at the time he lined up in 20th place on the grid on the 5th October. Typhoon Phanfone was due to make landfall in Japan that afternoon and although the typhoon itself was to miss the circuit. The heavy rainfall from the northern edge did however mean that the race started under safety car only to be red flagged after a mere two laps, with the cars lining up in the pit lane instead of the gird as is normal bringing a fear of cancellation. But 20 minutes later the race was under way again, although once more initially under safety car after the ninth lap the racing was finally underway as the safety car was pulled in.

It was an incident on lap 42 that was to prove fateful for Bianchi. It was the Sauber of Adrian Sutil that was had spun and crashed into the run off area on the outside of turn 7 the Dunlop curve. But on the following lap while Sutil's car was being removed from the track Bianchi came off at high speed at the Dunlop curve and collided with the crane involved in removing the damaged Sauber. He was unconscious as a result of the crash not responding to team radio and was rushed to hospital for surgery to reduce severe bruising to the brain. He was kept in an induced coma since the incident but died as result of those injuries last night.

Shortly after the crash, it was announced that had Formula 1 allowed three cars a team this season that Bianchi was to have become the third driver for Ferarri. Marussia made their final appearance at a Grand Prix the following weekend at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix but failed to compete for the rest of the season. This season it has arisen as Manor-Marussia though has yet to register a point.

Jules Bianchi 3 August 1989 - 17 July 2015

28 November 2014

Jack Kyle 1926-2014

Jack Kyle who passed away today was the last surviving Ulster player on the team that lifted Ireland's first Grand Slam in 1948. In all the trainee Doctor (pre-1951) and later surgeon made 46 appearances for Ireland from 1946-1958, and appeared 6 times for the British Lions on his only tour with them to Australia and New Zealand in 1950.

As a result of that tour he was named one of the six players of the year in the 1950 New Zealand Rugby Almanac which said  he was "an excellent team man, faultless in his handling, able to send out lengthy and accurate passes, and adept at making play for his supports." In 2002 he was named the Greatest Ever Irish Rugby player, the captain of that team a fellow doctor Karl Mullen was then named the Greatest Captain.

At the time of the 1948 5 Five Nations series he was one of a number of student doctors on the team, he was to graduate from The Queen's University of Belfast in 1951. He at the time without the substitutions we know today he played from his international debut in 1947 for an impressive seven consecutive seasons without injury until he briefly was unable to play in 1954.

After scoring one of his seven international tries in 1953 at Ravenhill one of the journalist immortalised the event in verse.

They seek him here, they seek him thereThose Frenchies seek him everywhere.That paragon of pace and guile,That demned elusive Jackie Kyle.

After he retired from international rugby he embarked on humanitarian work using his medical skills first in Sumatra and Indonesia, then from 1966-2000 as a consultant surgeon in Zambia. Therefore as well as being installed in the IRB Hall of Fame in 2008 he also the year previously received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Irish Journal of Medical Science and the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.

When Ireland won their second Grand Slam on 15 February 2009 Kyle was there to witness the passing of the flame. Seven other men from that original team 61 years earlier where still alive to see the day.

  • Karl Mullen the Leinster hooker survived just a couple of months dying on 29 April 2009
  • Leinster lock Colm Callan lived to see the next 6 nations but passed away 30 May 2010
  • Ulster lock Jimmy Nelson passed away on 13 June 2014 aged 92
  • Munster wing Bertie O'Hanlon turned 90 last month
  • Jim McCarthy the Munster Flanker turned 90 in June
  • Connaught centre Paddy Reid turned 90 in March
  • Leinster centre Mick O'Flanagan turned 92 in September
Other members of that momentous team included Des O'Brien the 1966 Lions manager, Billy McKay a fellow student doctor at Queens, Barney Mullan, John Daly.

Dr Jack Wilson Kyle - Ulster, Ireland and British Lions Rugby 10 January 1923 - 27 November 2014

27 November 2014

Phillip Hughes 1988-2014

The sad news to wake up to this morning is that Australian batsman Phillip Hughes who was hit on the head by a bounced while playing for South Australia against New South Wales has died as a result of the damage he sustained to a major artery as a result. He had been in an induced coma since an operation after he was rushed to a Sydney hospital following the incident.

Although he was only 25 he made his test debut on 26 February 2009 against South Africa. Although in his first innings he was dismissed for a duck, he took a half century in the second innings. But in the second match in that series scored the first of what were to become 3 test centuries in the first innings with 115 to be followed up with he record test score 160 in the second. He was the youngest man in test history to take a century in both innings of a Test Match.

In total he appeared in 26 Tests:

2009 v South Africa 
1st Test Johannesburg 0 and 75
2nd Test Durban 115 and 160
3rd Test Cape Town 33 and 32
2009 v England
1st Test Cardiff 36
2nd Test Lord's 4 and 17
2009/10 v Pakistan
2nd Test Sydney 0 and 37
2010 v New Zealand
1st Test Wellington 20 and 86no
2010/11 v England
3rd Test Perth 2 and 14
4th Test Melbourne 16 and 23
5th Test Sydney 31 and 13
2011 v Sri Lanka
1st Test Galle 12 and 28
2nd Test Pallekele 36
3rd Test Colombo 0 and 126
2011 v South Africa
1st Test Cape Town 9 and 9
2nd Test Johannesburg 88 and 11
2011 v New Zealand
1st Test Brisbane 10 and 7
2nd Test Hobart 4 and 20
2012/13 v Sri Lanka
1st Test Hobart 86 and 16
2nd Test Melbourne 10
3rd Test Sydney 87 and 34
2013 v India
1st Test Chennai 6 and 0
2nd Test Hydrabad 19 and 0
3rd Test Mohali 2 and 69
4th Test Dehli 45 and 6
2013 v England
1st Test Nottingham 81no and 0
2nd Test Lord's 1 and 1

It is a shame now in hindsight that his last outing in the baggy green cap of Australia was at headquarters and saw him only scoring a single in both innings.

He was born in Macksville in New South Wales, for whom he made his senior debut in 2007 before moving to South Australia in 2013. He has also appeared for Middlesex, Hampshire and Worcestershire in England, Mumbai Indians in the IPL and for Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers in the Australian Twenty20 Big Bash League.

He was three days short of his 26th Birthday and had been scheduled to play in next week's test match against India. The current round of Sydney Cup matched have been cancelled and next week's test is now in doubt as it is suspected that very few of his international colleagues may be prepared to return to the field so soon.

Here is the coverage of his greatest test performance that second test against South Africa in 2009

Phillip Joel Hughes - Cricketer 30 November 1988 - 27 November 2014

1 July 2014

Olympians we have lost in 2014: Part 2 April - June

Continuing my list of Olympic athletes who have died here is the next quarter of 2014. As usual they appear in bold either in the Olympiad they first medal in or if they never lifted a medal the one they first appear in.

Mary Lou Petty (USA) 5 Apr 1915 - 2 Apr 2014 Swimming 4th women's 400m freestyle

Alida van der Anker-Doedens (NED) 28 Jul 1922 - 1 Apr 2014 Canoeing silver medalist women's k-500m
Alexis Guyodo (FRA) 19 Jun 1922 - 7 Apr 2014 Athletics 4th men's 3000m steeplechase
Ferdinando Terruzzi (ITA) 17 Feb 1924 - 9 Apr 2014 Cycling gold medalist men's tandem
Walter Walsh (USA) 4 May 1907 - 29 Apr 2014 Shooting 12th in men's free pistol (at time of death he was the longest lived Olympian both at the time and ever)
Nestor Jaconon (MLT) 15 Feb - 4 May 2014 Athletics took part in the men's 100m
Mel Patton (USA) 16 Nov 1924 - 9 May 2014 Athletics gold medalist men's 200m, gold medalist men's 4x100m relay, 5th men's 100m
Rafael Lecuona (CUB) 2 Jun 1928 - 7 Jun 2014 Gymnastics 81st men's all around, 14th team all alround
Clara Schroth (USA) 5 Oct 1920 - 7 Jun 2014 Gymnastics bronze medalist women's team

Alida van de Anker-Doedens (see above) Canoeing 4th women's k-500m
İsmet Atlı (see below)
Thomas Jacobs (USA) 14 Aug 1926 - 10 Apr 2014 Nordic Skiing 21st in Nordic Combined, 66th men's 18km cross country
Werner Potzernheim (GER) 8 Mar 1927 - 22 Apr 2014 Cycling bronze medalist men's sprint scratch race
Stanko Lorger (YUG) Slovene 14 Feb 1931 - 25 Apr 2014 Athletics semi-finalist men's 110m hurdles
Turhan Tezol (TUR) 9 August 1932 – 27 April 2014 Basketball lost to Egypt and Italy in the men's preliminary round
Vujadin Boškov (YUG) Serbian 16 May 1931 - 27 Apr 2014 Football silver medalist men's team
Claude Lavoie Richer (CAN) 22 Dec 1929 -18 May 2014 Nordic Skiing 52nd men's 18km
Per Rollum (NOR) 3 Dec 1928 - 18 May 1924 Alpine Skiing 8th men's slalom
Maurizio Mannelli (ITA) 1 Jan 1930 - 22 May 2014 Water Polo bronze medalist men's team
Rafael Lecuona (see above) Gymnastics 116th individual all around
Ida Schöpfer (SWI) 29 Oct 1929 - 7 Jun 2014 Alpine Skiing 10th women's downhill, 16th women's giant slalom, DNF women's slalom
Clara Schroth (see above) Gymnastics 73rd women's individual all around, 15th women's team
Ken Doubleday (AUS) 14 Feb 1926 - 8 Jun 2014 Athletics 5th men's 110m hurdles, quarter finalist men's 400m hurdles, took part in men's 4x100m and 4x400m relays
Gyula Grosics (HUN) 4 Feb 1926 - 13 Jun 2014 Football gold medalist men's team
Magnus Wassén (SWE) 1 Sep 1920 - 23 Jun 2014 Sailing bronze medalist 5.5m class

İsmet Atlı (see below) Freestyle Wrestling
Mithat Bayrak (TUR) 3 Mar 1929 - 20 Apr 2014 Greco-Roman Wrestling gold medalist men's Welterweight (67-73kg)
Leonhard Pohl (GER) 18 Jul 1929 - 23 Apr 2014 Athletics bronze medalist men's 4x100m relay
Stanko Lorger (see above) Athletics 5th men's 110m hurdles
Jaroslav Cihlář (CZE) 7 Apr 1924 - 2 May 2014 Cycling tied 5th in the men's 4,000m team pursuit, took part in men's individual and team road race but DNF
Anwar Ahmed Khan (PAK) 24 Sep 1933 - 2 May 2014 Field Hockey silver medalist men's team
Zbigniew Pietrzykowski (POL) 4 Oct 1934 - 19 May 2014 Boxing bronze medalist men's light middleweight -71kg
John McCormick (GBR) 9 Jan 1935 - 23 May 2014 Boxing bronze medalist men's light middleweight -71kg
Rafael Lecuona (see above) Gymnastics 52nd men's all around individual
David Tyshler (URS) 13 Jul 1927 - 7 Jun 2014 Fencing bronze medalist men's team sabre
Ken Doubleday (see above) took part in men's 110m hurdles

İsmet Atlı (TUR)1931 - 4 Apr 2014 Freestyle Wrestlinggold medalist light heavyweigh (79-87kg)
László Felkai (HUN) 1 Mar 1941 - 10 Apr 2014 Water Polo bronze medalist men's team
Helga Mees (see below) Fencing 4th women's team foil, Quarter Finalist women's individual foil,
Mithat Bayrak (see above)Greco-Roman Wrestlinggold medalist Bogdan Poniatowski (POL) 6 Nov 1931 - 24 Apr 2014 Rowing men's coxless fours
Stanko Lorger (see above) Athletics semi-finalist men's 110m hurdles
Sandro Lopopolo (ITA) 18 December 1939 – 26 April 2014 Boxing silver medalist men's lightweight -60kg
Ilija Ničić (YUG) Serbian 21 July 1922 - 27 April 2014 Shooting 25th men's free pistol 50m
Frank Budd (USA) 20 Jul 1939 - 29 April 2014 Athletics 5th men's 100m, DQed in final of men's 4x100m relay
Toimi Alatalo (FIN) 4 April 1929 - 4 May 2014 Nordic Skiing gold medalist men's 4x10km relay
Anwar Ahmed Khan (see above) Field Hockey gold medalist men's team
William Meyers (RSA) 23 Jul 1943 - 7 May 2014 Boxing bronze medalist men's featherweight -57kg
Pál Orosz (HUN) 25 Jan 1934 - 12 May 2014 Football bronze medalist men's team
Zbigniew Pietrzykowski (see above) Boxing silver medalist men's light heavyweight -81kg
David Tyshler (see above) Fencing 7th men's individual sabre, 5th men's team sabre

Helga Mees (GER) 12 Jul 1937 - 11 Apr 2014 Fencing silver medalist women's individual foil, bronze medalist women's team foil
Anwar Ahmed Khan (see above) Field Hockey silver medalist men's team
Chet Jastremski (USA) 12 Jan 1941 - 3 May 2014 Swimming bronze medalist men's 200m breaststroke
Anthony Villaneuva (PHI) 18 Mar 1945 - 13 May 2014 Boxing bronze medalist men's featherweight -57kg
Zbigniew Pietrzykowski (see above) Boxing bronze medalist men's light heavyweight -81kg
Edmund Bruggmann (see below) Alpine Skiing 19th men's giant slalom
Jaroslav Walter (CZE) Czech 6 Jan 1939 - 20 Jun 2014 Ice Hockey bronze medalist men's team

Helga Mees (FRG) (see above) Fencing 5th women's team foil, 2nd round women's individual foil
Chet Jastremski (see above) Swimming gold medalist men's 4x100m medley relay
Valentin Mankin (URS) Ukranian 19 Aug 1938 - 1 Jun 2014 Sailing gold medalist men's Finn class
Edmund Bruggmann (see below) Alpine Skiing 10th men's downhill, 12th men's giant slalom
José Gómez (SPA) 9 Jan 1944- 14 Jun 2014 Cycling 16th men's individual road race, 12th men's 100m team time trial

Ghiţă" Licu (ROM) 1 Dec 1945 - 8 Apr 2014 Handball bronze medalist men's team
László Felkai (see above) Water Polo gold medalist men's team
Trine Krogh (NOR) 18 Jan 1955 - 3 May 2014 Swimming competed in women's 200m and 400m individual medley
István Major (HUN) 20 May 1949 - 5 May 2014 Athletics 6th in men's high jump
Aurora Bréton (MEX) 10 Jan 1950 - 27 May 2014 Archery 15th women's individual
Valentin Mankin (see above) Sailing gold medalist men's Tempest class
Edmund Bruggmann (SWI) 15 Apr 1943 - 9 Jun 2014 Alpine Skiing silver medalist men's giant slalom, 8th men's slalom
Irene Forbes (CUB) 3 Apr 1949 - 14 Jun 2014 Fencing took part in women's team foil
James McEwan (USA) 24 Sep 1954 - 14 Jun 2014 Canoeing bronze medalist men's C1 Slalom

Ghiţă" Licu (see above)Handball silver medalist men's team
László Felkai (see above) Water Polo bronze medalist men's team
István Major (see above) tied 24th men's high jump.
Imre Gedővári (see below) Fencing tied 7th men's individual sabre, 4th men's team sabre
Valentin Mankin (see above) Sailing silver medalist men's Tempest class

José Aguilar (CUB) 24 Nov 1958 - 4 Apr 2014 Boxing bronze medalist men's light-welterweight
Imre Gedővári (HUN) 1 Jul 1951 - 22 May 2014 Fencing bronze medalist men's individual sabre, bronze medalist men's team sabre
Valentin Mankin (see above) Sailing gold medalist men's Star class

Panagiotis Pikilidis (GRE) 27 Feb 1965 - 23 May 2014 Wrestling 4th men's super heavyweight +100kg Greco-Roman, 8th men's super heavyweight + 100kg Freestyle
Aurora Bréton (see above) Archery 9th women's individual
Florica Lavric (ROM) 7 Jan 1962 - 20 Jun 2014 Rowing gold medalist women's coxed four

Imre Gedővári (see above) Fencing gold medalist men's team sabre, 17th men's individual sabre
Aurora Bréton (see above) Archery 29th in qualification for women's individual
Hubert Bourdy (FRA) 5 Mar 1957 - 25 Jun 2014 Equestrian bronze medalist team jumping, tied 8th individual

Alireza Soleimani (IRN) 2 Feb 1956 - 21 May 2014 Freestyle Wrestling 6th men's 130kg
Panagiotis Pikilidis (see above) Wrestling 8th men's super heavyweight 130kg  Greco-Roman
Aurora Bréton (see above) Archery 45th in qualification for the women's individual
James McEwan (see above) Canoeing 4th men's C-2 slalom
Hubert Bourdy (see above) Equestrian bronze medalist team jumping, DNF first round of final individual

Rafał Sznajder (POL) 13 Oct 1972 - 13 Apr 2014 Fencing 7th men's individual sabre, 4th men's team sabre
Valeri Goryushev (see below) Volleyball 4th men's team
Andrey Korneyev (RUS) 10 Jan 1974 - 2 May 2014 Swimming bronze medalist men's 200m breaststroke 
Panagiotis Pikilidis (see above) Wrestling 5th men's super heavyweight 130kg Greco-Roman

Rafał Sznajder (see above) Fencing 22nd men's individual sabre, 7th men's team sabre
Valeri Goryushev (RUS) 26 Apr 1973 - 28 Apr 2014 Volleyball silver medalist men's team
Santiago "Yago" Lamela (SPA) 24 Jul 1977 - 8 May 2014 Athletics 19th in qualification for the men's long jump
Anna Pollatou (GRE) 8 Oct 1983 - 17 May 2014 Rhythmic Gymnastics bronze medalist group all-around

Rafał Sznajder (see above) Fencing 14th men's individual sabre
Yago Lamela (see above) Athletics 11th men's long jump

Elena Baltacha (GBR) 14 August 2014 - 4 May 2014 Tennis 2nd Round Women's singles, beaten in first round of women's doubles 

Nikolay Khrenkov (RUS) 15 Jul 1984 - 2 Jun 2014 Bobsleigh 15th men's four men

1 April 2014

Olympians we have lost 2014: Part 1 Jan - Mar

The following is the list of Athletes who have taken part in the Olympics who have passed away in the first quarter of this year. They are listed under the years in which they competed details are next to their first medal performance (or if they did not medal their first appearance).

Halet Çambel (TUR) 27 August 1916 - 12 January 2014 Fencing  women's foil individual, first Muslim women to compete at the Games

Irma Heijting-Schuhmacher (NED) 24 February 1925 - 8 January 2014 Swimming bronze medalist women's 4x100m freestyle relay, 6th women's 100m freestyle
Ulysse Bozonnet (FRA) 1922 - 13 January 2014 Biathlon 5th in Military Patrol (as the event was still called then)
Bennie Lands (CAN) 22 February 1921 - 13 January 2014 Basketball 9th Men's team
Nadia Boudesquo (MEX) 1917 - 17 January 2014 Fencing women's foil individual
Franz Gabl (AUT) 29 December 1921 - 23 January 2014 Alpine Skiing silver medalist men's downhill
Adegboyega Folaranmi Adedoyin (GBR) (born in Nigeria) 11 September 1922 - January 2014 Athletics 5th men's long jump, 12th men's high jump
Thomas Montemage (USA) 21 January 1927 - 31 January 2014 Cycling took part in Men's team pursuit
Piero D'Inzeo (see below) DNF individual and team jumping
Roland Nilsson (SWE) 26 November 1924 - 21 February 2014 Athletics took part in men's shot putt
Andy Gilpin (CAN) 30 September 1920 - 1 March 2014 Ice Hockey gold medalist men's team
Quinto Vadi (ITA) 13 September 1921 - 17 March 2014 Gymnastics 5th men's team all around, tied 45th men's individual all around, 13th pommel horse
Rodney Wilkes (TTO) Weightlifting silver medalist men's featherweight 56-60kg
Lode Wouters (BEL) 27 May 1929 - 25 March 2014 Cycling gold medalist team road race, bronze medalist individual road race

Irma Heijting-Schuhmacher (see above) silver medalist women's 4x100m freestyle relay, 6th women's 100m freestyle, eliminated in heats of women's 400m freestyle
Eric Patterson (CAN) 11 Spetember 1929 - 14 January 2014 Ice hockey gold medalist men's team
Holger Hansson (SWE) 26 January 1927 - 17 January 2014 Football bronze medalist men's teams
Sir Chris Chataway (GBR) 31 January 1931 - 19 January 2014 Athletics 5th in men's 5,000m
Leen Jansen (NED) 3 August 1930 - 27 January 2014 Boxing QF men's middleweight
Tarit Kumar Sett (IND) 15 January 1931 – 29 January 2014 Cycling men's 4,000m team pursuit
Thomas Montemage (see above) took part in Men's team pursuit
Piero D'Inzeo (see below) 6th individual eventing, DNF team eventing
Roland Nilsson (see above) 5th in men's shot putt, 7th in men's discus
Wayne Frye (USA) 30 November 1930 - 26 February 2014 Rowing gold medalist in men's eight
Alfred Post (GER) 20 August 1926 - 7 March 2014 Football 4th in men's team
Quinto Vadi (see above) 10th men's team all around, 114th individual all around
Rodney Wilkes (see above) bronze medalist men's featherweight 56-60kg weightlifting

Pedro Mayorgo (ARG) 1921 - 6 January 2014 Equestrian 4th team show jumping, 17th individual
Reid Patterson (USA) 2 July 1932 - 15 January 2014 Swimming 4th men's 100m freestyle 
Cosimo Antonelli (ITA) 23 July 1925 - 16 Jan 2014 Water Polo 4th men's team 
Paavo Kotila (FIN) 26 August 1927 - 26 January 2014 Athletics 13th men's Marathon 
Dave Power (see below) 7th in men's 10,000m 
Piero D'Inzeo (ITA) 4 March 1923 - 13 February 2014 Equestrian silver medalist team jumping, bronze medalist individual jumping 
Rodney Wilkes (see above) 4th men's featherweight 56-60kg weightlifting

Gyula Török (HUN) 24 January 1948 - 12 January 2014 Boxing gold medalist men's flyweight
Jan Pesman (NED) 4 May 1931 - 23 January 2014 Speed skating bronze medalist men's 5,000m, 12th men's 10,000m, tied 33rd men's 500m
Dave Power (AUS) 14 Jul 1928 - 1 Feb 2014 Athletics bronze medalist in men's 10,000m, 5th in men's 5,000m
Ranjit Bhatia (IND) 27 May 1936 - 9 Feb 2014 Athletics 60th in men's Marathon, took part in men's 5,000m
Piero D'Inzeo (see above) silver medalist individual jumping, bronze medalist team jumping
Enyu Valchev (BUL) 4 January 1936 - 15 February 2014 Wrestling bronze medalist lightweight 62-67kg freestyle
Dezső Novák (HUN) 3 February 1939 - 26 February 2014 Football bronze medalist men's team
David Smith (USA) 31 October 1925 - 8 March 2014 Sailing gold medalist mixed 5.5m class
Hans Fogh (DEN 1960-72, CAN 76-84) 8 March 1938 - 14 March 2014 Sailing silver medalist mixed two person heavyweight dinghy
Carmelo Bossi (ITA) 15 October 1939 - 23 March 2014 Boxing silver medalist light middleweight (-71kg)

Thomas Montemage (see above) DNF in men's individual road race
Piero D'Inzeo (see above) bronze medalist team jumping, 9th individual
Enyu Valchev (see above) gold medalist lightweight 63-70kg freestyle
Dezső Novák (see above) gold medalist men's football
Hans Fogh (see above) 4th mixed two person heavyweight dinghy

Jorge Jottar (CHI) 29 June 1929 - 1 January 2014 Shooting 7th mixed skeet
Uroš Marović (YUG) Serbian 4 July 1946 - 23 January 2014 Water polo gold medalist men's team
Piero D'Inzeo (see above) 5th individual jumping, tied 7th team jumping
Enyu Valchev (see above) silver medalist lightweight 63-70kg freestyle
Dezső Novák (see above) gold medalist men's football
Hans Fogh (see above) 16th mixed two person heavyweight dinghy

Andy Holden (GBR) 22 October 1948 - 4 January 2014 Athletics eliminated in heat of men's 3,000m steeplechase
Michał Joachimowski (POL) 26 September 1950 - 19 January 2014 Athletics 7th men's triple jump
Uroš Marović  (see above) 5th in men's team Water Polo
Krzysztof Birula-Białynicki (POL) 15 August 1944 - 30 January 2014 Ice Hockey 6th men's team
Wong Choon Wah (MAS) 31 March 1947 - 31 January 2014 Football 10th men's team
Jaime Huélamo (SPA) 17 November 1948 - 31 January 2014  Cycling bronze medalist came third in the individual men's road race but was stripped of medal following a failed drug test
Amadou Meïté (CIV) 28 November 1949 - 11 February 2014 Athletics took part in men's 100m and 4x100m relay
Piero D'Inzeo (see above) bronze medalist team jumping, tied 22nd individual jumping
Hans Fogh (see above) 7th mixed two person heavyweight dinghy
Ben Staartjes (NED) 9th December 1928 - 17 March 2014 Sailing 5th mixed two person keelboat
Nevio de Zordo (ITA) 11 March 1943 - 27 March 2014 Bobsleigh silver medalist 4-man

Volodymyr Raskatov (URS) Ukrainian 23 October 1957 - 11 January 2014 swimming silver medalist men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay, bronze medalist 400m Freestyle
Milan Kajkl (CZE) 14 May 1950 - 18 January 2014 Ice hickey silver medalist men's team
Michał Joachimowski (see above) 13th men's triple jump
Uroš Marović  (see above) 5th in men's team Water Polo
Amadou Meïté (see above) took part in men's 100m and 4x100m relay
Piero D'Inzeo (see above) tied 9th team jumping, tied 25th individual jumping
Herbert Blöcker (FRG) West Germany 1 January 1943 - 15 February 2014 Equestrian silver medalist team eventing, 13th individual eventing
Vasile Huţanu (ROM) 1 June 1954 - 24 Feb 2014 Ice Hockey  7th men's team
Doru Tureanu (ROM) 11 January 1955 - 11 March 2014 Ice Hockey 7th men's team
Hans Fogh (see above) 4th mixed two person heavyweight dinghy
Ben Staartjes (see above) 8th mixed two person keelboat


Zoe MacKinnon (CAN) 5 October 1959 - 29 January 2014 Hockey 5th Women's Team 
Hans Fogh (see above) bronze medalist three person keelboat

Jürgen Brümmer (FRG) West Germany 8 December 1964 - 25 Feb 2014 Gymnastics 12th men's team all around, 64th individual all around failed to qualify for any apparatus final
Evgeni Krasilnikov (USR) Russian 7 April 1965 - 8 March 2014 Volleyball silver medalist men's team
Doru Tureanu (see above) tied 7th men's ice hockey
Robert Billingham (USA) 10 December 1957 - 30 March 2014 Sailing silver medalist soling class

Herbert Blöcker (see above) 1 January 1943 - 15 February 2014 Equestrian silver medalist individual eventing, bronze medalist team eventing
Evgeni Krasilnikov (see above) 7th men's volleyball for the Unified Team

Biko (USA) 1984 - 29 January 2014 Equestrian silver medalist horse of Karen O'Connor
Herbert Blöcker (see above) 16th individual eventing
Marek Galiński (POL) 1 August 1974 - 17 March 2014 Cycling 29th men's Mountain Bike Cross Country

Marek Galiński (see above) 21st men's Mountain Bike Cross Country

Marek Galiński (see above) 14th  men's Mountain Bike Cross Country 

Marek Galiński (see above) 13th men's Mountain Bike Cross Country 

24 February 2014

The candidate cities for the Winter Olympics 2022

Last night at the closing the ceremony we heard the call for the young people of the world to meet again in four years time in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but the process is already underway for the Games after that.

Last November 6 applicant cities were presented to the IOC, by the 14 march they must present their application file to the IOC and then in 8-9 July the IOC board will meet and select the candidate cities to then present their candidate files and guarantees. So who are the six that are in the running at this stage.

Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish capital has hosted the 1912 Summer Games, this is one of two bids in the running to be  the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games. The ski resort of Åre 610km from Stockholm is looking to be the centre for the Alpine events. Åre together with nearby Östersund had considered putting in a bid to hold the 2014 Games, but failed to secure Government backing. Östersund with Åre had been ahead of Lillehammer in round 2 of the bidding in 1994 only to lose out in the final round. They combined to come third behind Nagano and Salt Lake City in 1998, and when the latter swept the first round four year later. But this time with the addition of Stockholm joining with Åre there is a metropolitan element to go with the trips to Swedish highlands.

Kraków, Poland

The Polish NOC have actually joined up with Slovakia to  put in a bid that would see the Olympics come to either country for the first time. It was a vision that the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński had for his nation shortly before he, the President of the Polish Olympic Committee and 94 others were killed in that horrific plane crash in April 2010. The cities bid teams up with the ski resort of Jasná to the south and across the border in Slovakia, with other resorts on the road to Jasná hosting the sliding events and cross country skiing. The furthest apart the venues will be is 175km. If this bid is successful it will be the first bid that sets out as being hosted in two nations.

Oslo, Norway

The Norwegian capital is looking to host their second Winter Games following on from 1952. This is the fifth time the city had bid for the Winter Games after unsuccessful bids in 1936, 1944 and 1968. The resort of Lillehammer 190km away, which hosted the Games in 1994, would hold the Alpine and sliding events. If the Games were awarded to Oslo the Holmenkollbakken ski jumping hill would celebrate the 130th year of it's existence by crowning Olympic champions again.

Almaty, Kazakhstan

The former Kazakh capital hosted the Asian Winter Games in 2011 and will be hosting the Winter Universiade in 2017. They had gone further than Åre for these 2014 Games and had been an applicant city then two. However, with structures in place now all within 40km of Almaty this is actually the most compact of all the bids.

Lviv, Ukraine

The Eastern Ukrainian city's bid would involve three locations with ice events being based in a compact Olympic area around Arena Lviv which hosted three of the group games of UEFA Euro 2012. There are also plans to building an inner city sliding venue would complete the ice zone being entirely within the city boundaries. However, the snow events are having to be hosted elsewhere to the South. The Nordic events, freestyle and snowboard will take place in the established resort of Tysovets 130km south. But the altitude does not meet the IOC criteria for Alpine events so about 185km south from Lviv lies Volovets, which once had a ski ramp that Austria-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I used to visit when this was in the Empire.

Beijing, China

The hosts of the 2008 Summer Games are the other applicant city looking to be the first to host both Summer and Winter Games. Zhangjiakou which is 190km North West of the Chinese capital is the mountain region at an elevation of 716m that is liable to host the snow events having an average high temperature  close to or below freezing from December to February. One major factor that may be a disadvantage to Beijing is that it is only 700km away from Pyeongchang which will have hosted the previous Games.

7 February 2014

Flag bearers for the 2014 Winter Olympics: Part Four #Sochi2014

The final group of nations leading up to the hosts who as tradition dictates will be the last to enter the stadium.

Tajikistan - Таджикистан Alisher Kudratov is carrying the flag of his nation for the second Games in succession however this will be the first time that the Alpine skier will compete. He is taking part in just the men's slalom as his nation's only competitor in Sochi.

Thailand - Таиланд

Timor-Leste - Тимор-Лешти Yohan Goutt Goncalves born in France, the land of his father, the 19 year old Alpine Skiier will be representing the land of his mother. It is only the fourth time that the Timor-Leste flag will have been paraded at an Olympic Opening ceremony but the first time in the Winter Games. He will be taking part in the men's slalom.

Togo - Того Alessia Afi Dipol born in Italy and previously representing India, although she has no family connections she will be carrying the flag for one of only two African delegations with more than one competitor. She is an Alpine skier taking part in the woman's slalom and giant slalom, while her team mate Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean who was born in Niger to a Togolese mother takes part in the women's 15km classical cross country event.

Tonga - Тонга

Turkey -  Турция

Uzbekistan - Узбекистан

Ukraine - Украина Valentina Shevchenko is a veteran cross-country skier is appearing in her fifth consecutive Olympics since her debut at Nagano in 1998. Her best Olympic performance was 5th in the Mass Start at Salt Lake City in 2002, but in 2009 she secured bronze in the 30km freestyle. At 38 these will probably be her last Olympics.

Philippines - Филиппины Michael Christian Martinez wasn't even born the last time the flag of the Philippines entered a Winter Olympic stadium, that was 1992 and he was still 4 years away from entering the world. He is a figure skater who came 5th in the World Juniors last year.

Finland - Финляндия Enni Rukajärvi is a 23 year old snow boarder who has been world champion and Winter X Games champion in the new Olympic event of slopestyle.

France - Франция Jason Lamy-Chappuis the 27 year old ski-jumper and nordic skier is the defending champion in the men's 10km and normal hill. Born in Montana, USA where he lived until the age of five until the family moved to France the homeland of his father. He will not however be defending his title going instead in the large hill 10km combined. His cousin Ronan Lamy-Chappuis will be representing France in both the men's normal and large hill events.

Croatia - Хорватия Ivica Kostelić is an alpine skier who is taking part in his fourth Olympics. He has three silver medals in the combined in both Turin and Vancouver, adding another in the slalom four years ago. He will be taking part in all the men's Alpine events with the exception of the downhill this time.

Montenegro - Черногория Tarik Hadžić is the 19 year old alpine skier who will carry the flag for Montenegro's second Winter Olympics as an independent state.He is taking part in the men's slalom and giant slalom.

Czech Republic - Чешская Республика Šárka Strachová was the first Czech Republic Alpine skier to medal when she took bronze in the slalom in her second Games four years ago. She is only the second ever Czech Alpine skier to medal in the Olympics. She will turn 29 on Tuesday which is the day before the women's downhill. She is taking part in all the women's Alpine events.

Chile - Чили Dominique Ohaco is an 18-year-old slopestyle skier who although she has never won a medal in a world cup event has done well numerous times in qualification. Therefore if she does manage to gt the medal run going as some of her qualification runs she could be the first Chilean to win a Winter Games medal.

Switzerland -  Швейцария Simon Ammann has won the double double in ski-jumping winning both the normal and large hill events at Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010, the only man to have acheived the feat at two different Games. This will be the 32 year old's fifth Olympics having made his debut as a 16 year old at Nagano in 1998.

Sweden - Швеция Anders Södergrenc will be taking part in his third Olympics and was part of the Swedish relay team that took bronze in the men's 4x10km in 2006 and gold in Vancouver 4 years ago. He has won medals in long distances, double pursuit and relays at world championships.

Estonia - Эстония Indrek Tobreluts is a biathlete from Tartu who is taking part in his fourth Olympics. He won silver in last year's European 6km pursuit but the Olympic distance for that event is 12.5km.

South Korea - Южная Корея Lee Kyou-Hyuk is taking part in his sixth Olympics having made his debut at Lillehammer in 1994 when he was only 15. He is a long track speed skater who specialises in the sprint events the 500m and 1000m the only events he is entered for in Sochi. His best Olympic performance was fourth in the 1000m at Salt Lake City. He was world champion at 500m in 2011

Jamaica - Ямайка Marvin Dixon is the driver of the first Jamaican bobsleigh to qualify for the Olympics in 12 years. The 30 year old from Kingston has been competing since 2007 and managed to qualify on the last weekend of qualification this season. He along with brakeman Winston Watt are competing in the two-man bobsleigh.

Japan - Япония Ayumi Ogasawara is the skip of the women's curling team, the position she also held in 2006 when although they came ninth secured a victory over Canada. After that season she and her third Yumie Hayashi both announced their retirement but in 2011 they formed a new rink which is the one that has qualified for Sochi.

Russia - Россия Aleksandr Zubkov is the veteran slider of four Olympics having made his debut in the men's single luge at Nagano in 1998. He switched to driving the Bobsleigh for Salt Lake City four years later picking up the silver in Turin in the four man and bronze in Vancouver in the two man. He will be looking to complete the set on home ice this year after having the honour of carrying the hosts flag to mark the end of the parade of athletes tonight.

That completes the parade of Athletes you can watch the opening ceremony in half an hour ready for them starting their parade.

Flag bearers for the 2014 Winter Olympics: Part Three #Sochi2014

So we have got over halfway through the list of flag bearers for this afternoon's opening ceremony. After covering the previous half of the parade it is time to carry on.

Malta - Мальта Elise Pellegrin French born Alpine skier with a Maltese grandfather the Mediterranean nation's first Winter Olympian will carry the Bandiera ta' Malta with pride. At 22 she is taking part in the women's slalom and giant slalom.

Macedonia - Македония Darko Damjanovski is a cross country skier who is taking part in his third Olympics. He goes off in the men's 15km classical.

Morocco - Марокко Adam Lamhamedi was the first African to win an Olympic related medal in the Youth Olympics in 2012. While that gold was in teh Super-G he is only taking part in the slalom and giant slalom here.

Mexico - Мексика Hubertus von Hohenlohe  is a descendent of the rulers of a German principality though he was born in Mexico. At 55 he is the oldest competitor in Sochi and will be competing at his sixth Winter Olympics since his debut at Sarejevo in 1984. He missed the 2002 and 2006 but will take part in the men's slalom. Whether he goes on another four years to overtake Carl August Kronlund a 58-year-old curler from the First Winter Olympics at Chamonix 1924 to become the oldest ever we will have to wait and see.

Moldova - Молдова Victor Pinzaru a 21-year-old biathlete whose birthday is four days way, is taking part in his second Olympics. However, he has not qualified in biathlon this time and is only taking part in the men's 15km classical cross country.

Monaco - Монако Olivier Jenot will turn 26 at the end of the month, but made his debut as an 18 year old at Turin in 2006. He missed out on Vancouver due to a dislocated shoulder injury after he had qualified. He has qualified for all five of the Alpine skiing events including the combined at which he won gold at the Winter Universiade last year.

Mongolia - Монголия Bold Byambadorj is a 22-year-old cross country skier who makes his Olympic debut in the men's 15km classical.

Nepal - Непал Dachhiri Sherpa

Netherlands - Нидерланды Jorien ter Mors is a speed skater who will taking part both in the traditional long track as well as the short track events. She is taking part in all the short track individual events as well as the relay, and in the long track she is going in the 1,500m as well as the team pursuit. At only 24 this is her second Olympics and she has already won two silvers and a bronze at world championships on short track.

New Zealand - Новая Зеландия Shane Dobbin is a speed skater who will take part in the longest disciplines on ice the men's 5,000m and 10,000m. he only took part in the former on his debut 4 years ago when he finished 17th.

Norway - Норвегия Aksel Lund Svindal is an Alpine skier who brought home three medals (one of each hue) from the 2010 Games in Vancouver. He is a hot favourite to add to that tally having brought back a gold in each world championships or Olympics since 2007 the year after he made his Olympic debut. The only event he is not taking part in is the slalom.

Pakistan - Пакистан

Paraguay - Парагвай Julia Marino was born in Paraguay but adopted by an American couple at six months old. Until last year she competed for her adopted nation but switched to compete for the nation of her birth giving them their first appearance at the Winter Games. The 21-year-old is a medal contender in the women's slopestyle skiing.

Peru - Перу Roberto Cancelen is a 43-year-old cross country skier who lives and owns a business in Seattle, USA. He was the first Peruvian to qualify and compete in the Winter Games in 2010 where he also had the honour of carrying his nations flag. he is taking part in the men's 15km traditional.

Poland - Польша Dawid Kupczyk at 36 will be driving the two and four man bobsleighs in his fifth Olympics. Although at Nagano and Salt Lake City he was in the second seat in the four-man before stepping up to drive from Turin. In vancouver he achieved his best ever Olympic result with 14th in the four-man.

Portugal - Португалия Arthur Hanse is the male half of Portugals's team who both go in Lapine skiing. He was born France almost 21 years ago, his birthday will be on Monday, to Portuguese parents. But he is the elder member of the Portuguese team by 3 and a half years.

Romania - Румыния Éva Tófalvi is carrying the Romanian flag for the second consecutive Winter Games. At 35 she will be taking part in the women's biathlon events for her fifth Games. She came 11th in the individual event in both her debut at Nagano and last time in Vancouver and she is the only Romanian to have won a World Cup event in biathlon.

San Marino - Сан Марино Vincenzo Michelotti at 17 and 86 days he may be the youngest flag bearer in the ceremony. He will take part in the men's giant slalom.

Serbia - Сербия Milanko Petrović is 25 and was the first Serb to take part for his independent nation in biathlon at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. He is also the first Serb to have won World Cup points in his discipline so has a outside chance of medals in the men;'s individual and sprint events.

Slovakia - Словакия Zdeno Chára the Boston Bruins defenseman will be captaining the Slovak men's ice hockey team in what is his third Olympics. He has two world silver medals in his possession from 2000 and and 2012 but he was also Captain for the bronze medal match four years ago which saw Finland score four unanswered goals in the final period to claim the medal 5-3.

Slovenia - Словения Tomaž Razingar is the 34-year-old left winger in the first Ice Hockey team to qualify for the independent Slovenia.

United States of America - Соединенные Штаты Америки Todd Lodwick is the 37 year old veteran of five previous Games starting in 1994 at Lillehammer. In 2009 he won the Nordic Combined 10km normal hill world championships along with the 10km mass start. He will be taking part in the normal and large hill individual events as well as the team event.

The largest team (only five more than the hosts) marks the end of the third segment of this run through the flag bearers of this afternoons Opening Ceremony. The final section will of course lead up to the arrival of the hosts.