Jan 28, 2014, 5:47 PM EST
The U.S. Olympic Opening Ceremony flag bearer is usually chosen two days before the Games. Therefore, everyone has another week to debate who this year’s choice should be.
The U.S. flag bearer generally falls into one or more of three categories — medal favorite (Mariel Zagunis, 2012), longtime Olympian (Mark Grimmette, 2010) or fascinating backstory (Lopez Lomong, 2008).
(Technically, a flag bearer doesn’t have to be an Olympian. Boxer/politician Manny Pacquiao carried the Philippines flag at the 2008 Olympics.)
With that in mind, NBC Olympics compiled a list of 13 candidates (plus the ubiquitous “other”) to carry the Stars and Stripes into Fisht Stadium on Feb. 7. One can vote here.
Here are 13 potential flag bearers:
Erika Brown, Curling – First competed at the Olympics in 1988 at age 15, when curling was a demonstration sport.
Julie Chu, Hockey – Only four-time U.S. Olympic hockey player in Sochi.
Emily Cook, Aerials – Competing in her third Olympics. Made the 2002 Olympic Team but withdrew due to injury.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Figure Skating – Only U.S. gold-medal favorites in figure skating.
Shani Davis, Speed Skating – Could become first U.S. man to win the same Winter Olympic event three times.
Chris Fogt, Bobsled – A U.S. Army Olympian.
Steven Holcomb, Bobsled – Drove the U.S. to its first four-man bobsled since 1948 in 2010.
Todd Lodwick, Nordic Combined – First six-time U.S. Winter Olympian.
Bode Miller, Alpine Skiing – First five-time Olympic Alpine skier.
Noelle Pikus-Pace, Skeleton – Skeleton gold-medal co-favorite, mother of two.
Kikkan Randall, Cross-Country Skiing – Favored to win first U.S. Olympic cross-country gold medal.
Lindsey Van, Ski Jumping – Veteran anchor of first U.S. Olympic Women’s Ski Jumping Team.
Shaun White, Snowboarding – Could become first Winter Olympian to enter at least four career events and win gold medals in all of them.
- Jason Brown wins first U.S. figure skating title 1
- Lindsey Vonn wins final race before World Championships (video) 0
- Ashley Wagner shatters records for third U.S. figure skating title 3
- Chloe Kim wins Winter X Games halfpipe at age 14 0
- Lindsey Vonn struggles in St. Moritz downhill (video) 0
- Jason Brown leads U.S. short program; quad debate stoked 1
- Bode Miller will not race Kitzbuehel downhill, hopeful for World Champs 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)