During the Olympics, there was the whole kerfuffle about who was going to be the flag bearer (not even close to who the final torch bearer was though). Clara Hughes was bestowed the honour of waving her nation's (our nation) flag into the opening ceremonies.
The next question was posed of the closing ceremonies. Catering to everyone's suspicions, it was Joannie Rochette with the grandest and most incomprehensible story of the games.
But after 17 days (and then some), there were still questions to be answered. Like, who would wave the flag into the Paralympics?
That honoured was bestowed upon Jean Labonté, captain of Canada's sledge hockey team at the 2010 Paralympics.
What does it mean to have Labonté as the flag bearer? Since 1996, Labonté has been part of our national sledge hockey team. For 14 years, he has been giving paraplegics a chance to believe that they could and can play their nation's greatest sport.
I've watched Labonté play, and he is as great a leader as Scott Niedermayer was during that intermission between the third period and OT. In the violent sport of sledge hockey, he was the physical and the mental without crossing borders.