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    Thursday, February 5, 1998

    Flaim, veteran speed skater, chosen to carry U.S. flag

     NAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Speed skater Eric Flaim, who turns 31 next month, was selected to carry the American flag at the head of the U.S. delegation in the opening ceremony of the Nagano Winter Games on Saturday (Friday night EST).
     The choice was made in a today vote of team captains of the U.S. squad, the largest at the Olympics with some 240 athletes, coaches and officials. Flaim is the fifth speed skater chosen as U.S. flagbearer.
     Now skating short track as a member of the men's 5,000-metre relay team, Flaim, from Boston, broke into world-class competition as the "other Eric" in the mid-1980s. He was the heir apparent to Eric Heiden, who won an unprecedented five gold medals in Lake Placid in 1980.