Ottawa – The Canada Games and Konica Minolta are thrilled to announce the line-up of athletes who will be walking with the Canada Games flag during the 2015 Canada Winter Games Opening Ceremonies.

Carrying the property’s symbolic flag throughout the CN centre come February 13th will be:

• Susan Auch, three time Olympic Medalist, Speed Skating,
• Eric Bedard, four time Olympic Medalist, Speed Skating,
• Robert “Bo” Hedges, two-time Paralympic Medalist, Wheelchair Basketball,
• Cathy Preistner, Olympic Medalist, Speed Skating,
• Kelsey Serwa, Olympic Silver Medalist, Ski Cross,
• Joy Ward-Fera, Hall of Honour Inductee, two-time World Championship Medalist, Rowing.

You will be able to watch live coverage of the Opening Ceremonies on TSN at 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT.

“We are very excited that these tremendous Canada Games alumni are here to soak in the spirit of the Games that meant so much to them and their athletic development,” says Tom Quinn, Chairman of the Canada Games Council. “Walking in to the crowd cheering them on will definitely bring them back to their youth where they marched in wearing their Province’s team colours, ready for their first taste of multi-sport competition.”

The flag itself has been on quite the trip since November, visiting each community who has hosted the Canada Games in the past as part of the 2015 Canada Games Flag Relay. The flag bearer tradition for the 2015 Games has been made possible thanks to the support of National partner Konica-Minolta.

“Konica Minolta is proud to be a part of this monumental event that exemplifies the country’s best, up-and-coming athletes,” says David Armstrong, Vice President of Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Canada) Ltd. “We are honoured to be a part of the flag bearer tradition and we take pride in supporting Canada’s next generation of young and talented athletes.”

Below is a short bio for each of the flag bearers describing their achievements at the Canada Games.

Susan Auch

Susan Auch excelled at the 1983 Canada Games, capturing two Gold Medals and one Silver in Speed Skating. This success would translate to the next level as well, where she obtained a Bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Silver at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer and another Silver at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano.

Eric Bedard

Eric Bedard’s experience at the Canada Games was truly astounding as he amassed a breathtaking four gold medals at the 1995 Canada Winter Games. He then used this positive experience to propel his international and Olympic Speed Skating Career, where he won Gold and Bronze at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Gold at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and Silver at the 2006 Olympics in Turin.

Robert “Bo” Hedges

Robert “Bo” Hedges was a key component of the Team BC Wheelchair Basketball team that won Silver at the 2003 Canada Games in Bathurst-Campbellton. He used this experience to further excel in the sport to eventually reach the Paralympic Games where he won a Silver Medal at the 2008 Games and Gold at the 2012 Games.
Cathy Preistner

Cathy Priestner competed in Speed Skating for Team Manitoba at the 1971 Canada Games where she won Gold in the Women’s 400 metre. Following the Games, Cathy continued her success on the Olympic stage appearing at the 1972 and 1976 Winter Olympics. At the 1976 Games, she claimed Silver in the 500m event, becoming the first female Canadian speed skating medalist. She also carried Canada’s flag at that Game’s closing ceremonies.

Kelsey Serwa

Kelsey Serwa had a great showing at the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, winning Gold in Alpine at the Giant Slalom – Female. This invaluable experience served Kelsey well moving forward in her skiing career as she continued to reach new heights, leading her to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Recently, Serwa reached another milestone in her career, winning a Silver medal in ski cross at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

Joy Ward-Fera

Ward-Fera’s athletic prowess in both Alpine-Skiing and Rowing are evidenced by her long list of achievements. The height of her Alpine career came during the 1971 Canada Games, where she won Gold in the dual slalom. Ward-Fera used the unique experience she gained at the Games to propel her Rowing Career. Her Rowing excellence drove her all the way to the Olympics where she represented Canada during the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. She continued this success by winning Bronze medals at the 1977 and 1978 World Championships.