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Skeleton skater Ben Sandford, New Zealand's top finisher at the Vancouver Olympics, will be his country's flag bearer at the closing ceremony today.

Sandford finished 11th in his event and chef de mission Peter Wardell said it was the New Zealand Winter Olympic team's tradition to honour the best performing athlete in this way.

"Ben has set an excellent example for the other athletes in the team with his focus, drive and commitment," Wardell said.

"We are delighted that Ben has agreed to carry the New Zealand flag."

He said the full New Zealand team would march in the closing ceremony, which will start in downtown Vancouver at 2.30pm (NZT).

At the ceremony, the Olympic flag being passed to the next host city, Sochi in Russia.

Meanwhile, Ben Koons brought the curtain on New Zealand's Winter Olympics involvement this morning, finishing 46th in the men's 50km massed start cross country skiing event.

Koons, who finished ahead of just two other competitors, crossed the finish line 16 minutes, 18.4 seconds behind the winner, Petter Northug, of Norway.

Northug, who also won a gold in the team sprint, clocked 2hrs 5min 35.5sec, using a powerful final kick to beat Axel Teichmann of Germany by 3sec.

- NZPA