Canada picks speedskater Hughes to be flagbearer

RICHMOND, British Columbia (AP) — Speedskater Clara Hughes has been chosen to carry Canada's flag at the opening ceremony for the Vancouver Olympics.

The official announcement was to be made later Friday, but long-track coach Ingrid Paul revealed the choice on Twitter. Paul's post was later taken down and replaced with a more generic message.

Hughes is Canada's second most-decorated Olympian with five medals, and the only Canadian to participate in both the Summer and Winter Games. She is the defending champion in long-track speedskating's 5,000 meters and was part of the squad that won silver in team pursuit in 2006.

Hughes was the bronze medalist in the 5,000 in 2002, and also won bronze medals in cycling's road time trial and road race at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Hughes will be the sixth speedskater to carry Canada's flag.