Zdeno Chara led the Slovakian Olympians out into the Opening Ceremony as his country's flag bearer. He had to miss two Boston Bruins games to do it, but judging by all of the photos of the big defenseman, it was well worth the sacrifice.
Beyond being the flag bearer for his country, however, Chara is also becoming a bit of a celebrity among the athletes in Sochi. His status as a Stanley Cup winning captain in the NHL probably goes a long way, but it's his 6-foot-9 frame that might give him even more attention in the Olympic Park.
Canadian figure skater Kirsten Moore-Towers got the big man to pose for a picture. Moore-Towers does not live up to her name as she is about 4-foot-11, according to her bio.
Ran into Zdeno Chara today. Couldn't resist taking a picture :) pic.twitter.com/sYNOIbrWLn— Kirsten Moore-Towers (@Kirsten_MT) February 7, 2014
And perhaps you've seen the photos of the accommodations for the athletes in the Olympic villages in Sochi. Like every Olympics, they are quaint, and perhaps a bit cramped. Twin beds for big NHL players don't seem like the most ideal sleeping arrangement, but it's even worse when you're Chara.
Lucky for Big Z, the good people at the Sochi Olympics have made sure his large frame won't end up dangling off the bed.
No custom beds for the big man, just an extra mini-mattress to extend a few more feet to fit the sometimes not-so-gentle giant.
So from hilarious sleeping arrangements to mismatching photo ops, Zdeno Chara just may be one of Sochi's biggest stars both in actual size and popularity.