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French to be Canadian flag bearer for 2014 Youth Olympic Games

Canadian Olympic Committee
Canadian Olympic Committee
Wikimedia Commons

According to Canadian Olympic Committee Senior Manager of Media Relations Jane Almeida on Monday, fencer Dylan French of Richmond, British Columbia has been named the Canadian flag bearer in the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China on August 16. French's claim to fame was winning a bronze medal in the epee competition at the 2014 World Junior Fencing Championships in Plodiv, Bulgaria this past April.

French is also the reigning Junior Pan American gold medalist. That particular tournament took place in Guatemala City, Guatemala this past February.

The Canadian Olympic Committee will be sending a contingent of 75 athletes and 25 coaches to the Youth Olympic Games. Athletes will participate in the sports of athletics, beach volleyball, canoeing, diving, fencing, golf, gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, field hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon and wrestling.

One very interesting note about the Canadian contingent at the Youth Olympic Games is the strong coaching staff that the Canadian team will have. The wrestling team will be coached by Tonya Verbeek of Grimsby, Ontario. Verbeek won the silver medal in the women's 55kg freestyle wrestling competition at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The judo team meanwhile will be coached by Sasha Mehmedovic of Montreal. Mehmedovic finished in seventh at the 2007 World Judo Championship in Rio de Janeiro in the men's half lightweight division.

This will be the second Youth Olympic Games. The first took place in 2010 in Singapore. Canada won 12 medals--three gold medals, one silver medal and eight bronze medals, and finished 16th in the overall medal standings. The most recognizable names were swimmer Tera van Beilen of Oakville, Ontario and wrestler Dorothy Yeats of Montreal, who each won gold medals in Singapore. Van Beilen represented Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and Yeats won a silver medal at the 2012 World Wrestling Championships in Edmonton.