According to the Canadian Olympic Committee in a press release, Sven Baertschi and Mikael Backlund of the Calgary Flames will be participating in the 2014 Calgary Pride Parade on Sunday. The noon parade begins at Centre Street and eighth avenue and will go west to Shaw Millenium Park.
Baertschi and Backlund will be joined by several other athletes on Calgary sports teams. The list includes Jon Cornish of the Calgary Stampeders, Dane Dobbie and Andrew McBride of the Calgary Roughnecks, Pavel Padakin and Connor Rankin of the Calgary Hitmen, and Delayne Brian, Jenna Cunningham and Kelsey Webster of the Calgary Inferno.
There will also be nine Canadian Olympians taking part. Among them is Chandra Crawford of Canmore, Alberta, who won a gold medal in the women's sprint cross country skiing event at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin.
The parade is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival. The participation by Cornish today is an interesting one. According to CBC Sports, Cornish's mother, who is an Anglican priest, is married to another woman. Cornish will be involved in the festival despite the fact he will be playing in the Labour Day Classic against the Edmonton Eskimos at McMahon Stadium in a first place showdown in the Canadian Football League's West Division on Monday.
Last season, Baertschi who is from Switzerland, had a career high nine assists and 11 points in 26 games. He will try and crack the Flames lineup full time this year after playing 73 games over the last two years with the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League. Backlund, from Sweden meanwhile, had a career high in goals (18), assists (21) and points (39).