Olympic bronze medallist Mark Oldershaw has been confirmed as Canada's flag bearer for the Pan American Games Opening Ceremony ©COC

Olympic canoeing bronze medallist Mark Oldershaw will carry Canada's flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.

The 32-year-old was confirmed as the host country's flag carrier on Canada Day, held annually on July 1 to mark the establishment of the country in 1867, with Oldershaw revealed to a crowd of thousands by waving the flag on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Oldershaw is one of Canada’s most decorated canoe athletes, having won an Olympic bronze medal at London 2012 in the C1 1000 metres event and claimed several victories during the 2015 anoe Sprint World Cup season over the distance.

Toronto 2015 is set to be his first Pan American Games, due to be held from July 10 to 26, and he will now have the honour of leading a Canadian team of more than 700 athletes into the Opening Ceremony.

Oldershaw was the fifth member of his family to compete at the Olympics following his grandfather in Bert, who competed three Games, while his father Scott appeared at Los Angeles 1984,

Additionally, his uncle Dean took part in the Olympics at Munich 1972 and then Montreal 1976, where Reed Oldershaw, another uncle, also participated.

Mark Oldershaw was the first member of the family to win an Olympic medal, however.

Mark Oldershaw was in excellent form during the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup this season
Mark Oldershaw was in excellent form during the Canoe Sprint World Cup this season ©Getty Images

“I will be thinking of all my team-mates and of my grandfather, father and uncles who paved the way for me with their love of sport,” he said of being named as the flag bearer.

Oldershaw is likely to be the flag bearer for one of the strongest Canadian teams in recent years as the Canadian Olympic Committee are targeting a second place finish on the medals table.

It follows a fifth place position at Guadalajara 2011 behind the United States, Cuba, Brazil and host nation Mexico.

While Oldershaw will be leading the team into the Opening Ceremony on July 10 at the Rogers Centre, which has been renamed as the Pan American Games Ceremonies venue for the duration of the event, it will also see the end of the 41-day Torch Relay which has been taking place nationwide throughout the country.

The Opening Ceremony is designed to showcase Canada, with world famous entertainment company Cirque du Soleil having produced and directed the Ceremony.

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