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Fourth-Place Medal

Hockey player Julie Chu to be flag bearer in Olympic Closing Ceremony

Fourth-Place Medal

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(Getty Images/Martin Rose)

Four-time Olympian Julie Chu will carry the American flag during the Closing Ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Team USA announced Friday.

Chu, 31 of Fairfield, Conn., is the first Asian-American woman to play for the U.S. Olympic women’s ice hockey team, and she played the sport at Harvard University from 2002 to 2007.

The U.S. women’s hockey team took home the silver medal on Thursday after a devastating loss to Team Canada in the finals. Team USA was up 2-0 until the last four minutes, when Canada tied up the game and won gold in overtime.

[Photos: Tragic faces of silver in women's ice hockey]

Flag bearers are chosen through a vote of each sport's team captains. Carrying the flag is considered a great honor, and it often goes to Olympians recognized more by their peers than the public at large.

[Video: Wickenheiser calls Sochi win most exciting women's game ever]

Of note: While flag bearers traditionally dip their flag while passing the host nation’s head of state, the United States does not lower its flag. It is not totally clear when this tradition began, but the U.S. refused to lower its flag to Adolf Hitler in the 1936 and has not done so since.

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