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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir named Olympic flag bearers

Last Updated Jan 16, 2018 at 11:10 am PST

Tessa Virtue, front, and Scott Moir perform their free dance during the senior ice dance competition at the Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday January 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

OTTAWA – Ice dance darlings Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will carry Canada’s flag into the opening ceremony at next month’s Winter Games in South Korea.

The Olympic gold medallists were introduced today at a news conference in Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was there to mark the occasion.

Virtue, 28, and Moir, 30, made their Olympic debut eight years ago on home ice in Vancouver, where they captured a gold medal and became household names. They skated to a silver medal four years ago in Sochi.

The duo then took two years off before deciding to make a run for one more Olympic title.

Virtue says she’s overwhelmed. “It was such thrilling and unexpected news. Certainly, such an honour and so emotional and so powerful. I’m just filled with such pride.”

Virtue and Moir decided to putt off their retirement until after the Games in Pyeongchang.

Virtue says it was a good choice. “It’s a good thing we decided to come back. It is certainly incredibly rewarding. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Moir says it’s thrilling to take on this responsibility. “It’s such an honour and it’s going to be quite an emotional moment.”

Their biggest challenge for gold will come from French couple Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, who edged the Canadians at the Grand Prix Final in December.

Hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser carried the Canadian flag at the opening ceremony in 2014 while decorated speedskater Clara Hughes had the honour at the Vancouver Games.

This is the first time Canada has named two flag bearers for the opening ceremony, which will be held February 9.