Lamy Chappuis to bear French flag

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Olympic Nordic combined champion Jason Lamy Chappuis has been chosen to carry France's flag at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Games in February.

The French Olympic Committee announced the decision Monday.

"I'm very proud to represent France's colors. Thanks to all of those who believed me and supported me," Lamy Chappuis said. "I met with some other flag-bearers, and it's a real responsibility to represent France."

He takes over from biathlete Vincent Defrasne, the 2006 Olympic champion. The other main contenders were former world champion figure skater Brian Joubert and freestyle skier Ophelie David, the six-time ski cross world champion.

"(During the Games) I will go and see other events and try and encourage people," Lamy Chappuis said. "That's also the Olympic spirit."

In March, the 27-year-old Lamy Chappuis became the first man to win three golds in the Nordic combined in a single world championships, coming back from 11th to win the individual normal hill.

At the Vancouver Games in 2010, he won gold in the individual normal hill in a dramatic fashion, beating American Johnny Spillane by just 0.4 seconds -- the closest finish in a Nordic combined race in Olympic history.

A year later, he also won gold at the worlds in the large hill event.

The Sochi Games open on Feb. 7 in the Russian Black Sea resort.

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