RIGA, Jan 29 (LETA) - Legendary Latvian ice hockey player Sandis Ozolins will carry the Latvian flag at the Opening Ceremonies of this year's Winter Olympics in Russia's Sochi, athletes from the Latvian Olympic team have decided.
The veteran defenseman came out of retirement from the national team last February to help Latvia qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
This will be the third Olympics for 41-year-old Ozolins, who will also captain the Latvian team.
Ozolins, who currently plays for Latvian ice hockey club Riga ''Dinamo'' in the KHL, has represented Latvia in two previous Olympic Games - Salt Lake City (2002) and Torino (2006), and has also played for Latvia in two World Championships.
Ozolins has played in 35 games for the national team, scoring nine goals and making 26 assists.
In his 15-year NHL career, Ozolins won the Stanley Cup once - in 1996 with the Colorado "Avalanche". Ozolins has also participated in seven NHL All-Star Games.
Ozolins has played in a total of 875 NHL games in his career, during which he scored 167 goals and made 397 assists.
In previous opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, the Latvian flag has been carried by ice hockey players Leonids Vedejs (1936), Harijs Vitolins (2002) and Arturs Irbe (2006), bobsled athletes Janis Kipurs (1992), Zintis Ekmanis (1994) and Sandis Prusis (1998), as well as speed-skater Alberts Rumba (1928), cross-country skier Roberts Plume (1924), and skeleton slider Martins Dukurs (2010).
The Opening Ceremonies of this year's Winter Olympics will take place on February 7.