Marcelle named Canadian flag-bearer

 KAZAN, Russia (July 5, 2013) – Shanice Marcelle, a standout volleyball player from the University of British Columbia, was announced Friday evening as Canada’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies of the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.

Chef de mission Theresa Hanson and his Excellency John Sloan, Ambassador of Canada to the Russian Federation, made the announcement and welcomed Canadian athletes at a reception held at the Riviera Hotel in downtown Kazan.

A number of Russian officials attended the event, including Mr. Ravil Zaripov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Tatarstan.

The 27th FISU world university games will officially get under way Saturday night when athletes and officials from over 160 countries – including a record-setting 442 Canadians - march into Kazan Arena, the largest stadium in the Volga region with a seating capacity of close to 50,000.

It is believed to be the biggest Canadian delegation to the Russian Federation since diplomatic relations between the two countries began 70 years ago.

Marcelle, who was born in Toronto and grew up in Victoria, made her Universiade debut two years ago in Shenzhen, China. A member of the senior national team, the 6-foot outside hitter has also represented Canada internationally in beach volleyball over the years, including at the 2010 junior world championship and the 2007 Youth Worlds. On the indoor circuit, she has competed in the last two Pan American Cups, including last month in Peru.

The kinesiology student wrapped up her Canadian Interuniversity Sport career this past season as one of the most decorated players in CIS women’s volleyball history. Over five stellar campaigns with UBC, she earned three first-team all-Canadian selections, was named CIS player of the year twice, led the Thunderbirds to five straight national titles and was voted to the CIS championship all-star team every year, including a tournament MVP nod in 2011. Last April, she merited the ultimate CIS honour when she received the prestigious BLG Award as CIS female athlete of the year across all sports.

Marcelle and her teammates, who are set to arrive in Kazan on Saturday morning just in time for the opening ceremonies, kick off the Universiade tournament on July 8 against Norway.

“This is really a tremendous honour. It’s very humbling,” said Marcelle upon hearing of her selection. “I’ve been lucky enough to receive my fair share of recognition these past few years but this might be the greatest honour yet.

“I’d like to wish best of luck to all Canadian athletes competing at the Games. I’m sure we’re going to make Canada proud,” added the star of the day, who dreams of one day wearing the Maple Leaf at the Olympics.

“I could not think of a more deserving athlete than Shanice,” said Hanson. “Over the past five years, she has been a tremendous ambassador for university sports, both in Canada and internationally. She truly deserves this latest honour.”