The Sochi Olympics kick off in a few weeks which means countries are going to start naming their flag bearers if they haven’t already. One of those countries that hadn’t yet named a flag bearer was Slovakia, but today they made an easy decision to name Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara to the honor.
While the decision to name Chara as the country’s official bearer was an honor, it wasn’t one that didn’t come without any hangups. The Opening Ceremony in Sochi is scheduled for February 7th but the NHL plays games through February 8th. Boston has games scheduled on both February 6th and February 8th against the St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators.
However, Boston is allowing Chara to miss one and possibly both of those game though so he can accept the honor of being his country’s flag bearer. Chara’s head coach Claude Julien spoke on the matter to the Boston Globe:
“When you look at what Z has done for this club, I think it’s an easy decision to make,” Claude Julien said. “You’re carrying your country’s flag at the Olympics. Even if he misses a game and maybe two, I think that’s the least we can do for a guy who’s given us so much since he’s been here.”
Chara will be playing for his native Slovakia in the Men’s Hockey portion of the Sochi Games.