The Russian flag bearer for the opening ceremonies in the Winter Olympics in Sochi will not be a hockey player, according to a tweet from earlier today…
— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) February 5, 2014
The Tretiak that is refereed to in the tweet is in fact Vladislav Tretiak, the Soviet Union goaltender who helped the USSR dominate International hockey for a couple of decades – he is now President of the Russian Hockey Federation.
The Russian hockey squad is mostly made up of a mix between NHL stars and KHL stand-outs, it includes the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Pavel Datsyuk. None of those players were selected to do the honor of carrying the Russian flag in the opening ceremonies though.
I am not familiar with any Russian Olympians other than the hockey players, so I will not make any judgement call on who may be the actual flag bearer. Tretiak was quoted in December saying this though…
When people have come up to me and asked who could carry the Russian flag, I named Kovalchuk,
Everyone in the hockey world knows the story of Ilya Kovalchuk, he left the New Jersey Devils after signing a massive deal, only to continue his hockey career in the KHL – which probably makes him quite favorable in Russia. If the flag bearer were to be a Russian hockey player, then I suppose Kovalchuk could beat out the likes of Ovechkin, Malkin, and Datsyuk since he is currently playing for one of Russia’s most popular teams in the KHL, SKA St. Petersburg.
UPDATE: Alexander Zubkov (bobsled) will be the Russian flag bearer in Sochi. [Dmitry Chesnokov Via Twitter]