Hockey player Ryan Falkenham of Halifax and Judoka Whitney Lohnes of Bridgewater will have the distinction of serving as Team Nova Scotia captains and proudly carrying the flag during the opening and closing ceremonies at the Halifax 2011 Canada Winter Games. “Selecting the flag bearers was not an easy task as any of our athletes and artists would be a perfect fit for various reasons,” said Frank Garner, Chef de Mission for Team Nova Scotia. “Ryan and Whitney are exceptional young athletes and, most importantly, they value community and embody great leadership qualities and will represent Nova Scotia proudly.” All coaches and managers of Team Nova Scotia were asked to nominate flag bearer candidates. A small committee from the mission staff evaluated the nominees based on athletic and academic accomplishments, community work and character. Ryan will carry the Nova Scotia Flag during the Opening Ceremonies on Feb. 11, and Whitney will hold the flag during the closing ceremonies Feb. 27. Ryan, 15, plays major midget hockey for Halifax. He has been a team captain at every level of hockey he’s played. to date. Ryan has also represented Nova Scotia at the National Lacrosse Championships in 2008 and played in the baseball provincials in 2004. Ryan also excels academically and holds a 93.3 per cent average in Grade 9. He also volunteers as a coach for various hockey camps. “I’m extremely proud to be representing my province at home during the Canada Games,” Ryan said. “We’ve all trained hard to get here and I know we’ll all give our best for the hometown fans.” Whitney, 18, won gold at the 2010 judo nationals and bronze at the Junior Pan Am Championships. She has been competing for more than 11 years and shares her passion for the sport by coaching. Whitney has also been an honour student throughout junior and senior high school. “I’m honoured to be a captain of Team Nova Scotia and carry my province’s flag during the games,” Whitney said. “I’m so proud of all the athletes, artists, coaches and managers that make up Team Nova Scotia and can’t wait for the competition to begin.” Team Nova Scotia has more than 200 athletes and artists competing in 20 sports and various cultural events during the Halifax 2011 Canada Winter Games from Feb. 11-27. Team Nova Scotia has a number of partners and sponsors, including Sport Nova Scotia, the Department of Health and Wellness and Support4Sport, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Karbon, Scotian Gold, The Westin Nova Scotia, CTV, The Chronicle Herald and 101.3 The Bounce. Follow Team Nova Scotia for the latest news on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamns , Twitter @teamnovascotia or visit www.teamnovascotia.ca. The Canada Games is the country’s largest amateur multi-sport event. About, 3,500 athletes, artists, coaches and managers will gather in Halifax to compete in more than 20 sports.