NEWARK, N.J. - There are some days when Kimmo Timonen wakes up that his body lets him know his age.

Then there are others, like yesterday, when Timonen is reminded by others. Timonen, 38, was selected to represent Finland in his fifth consecutive Olympic Games.

"I'm very proud to be named to the Finnish team. It means you're old," Timonen said. "And it means you've played this game a long time. It also means you've played this game at a high level for many years."

Timonen, who made his initial debut in Nagano in 1998 before he even played in the NHL, isn't even the oldest or longest-tenured player from his country. That distinction belongs to Anaheim's Teemu Selanne, 43, who will be playing in his sixth Olympics.

Prior to next month, only six other Olympic hockey players have made the trip to at least five Winter Games - something only 369 other men have done in any sport or discipline, including the summer.

Sochi will mark Timonen's 17th national-team tournament since 1993. With the help of Selanne, Timonen is shooting for his first-ever gold medal, to go along with two bronze (2010, 1998) and one silver (2006).

Timonen is one of a handful of Flyers chosen to represent their countries in Sochi. The others are Michael Raffl (Austria), Andrej Meszaros (Slovakia), Mark Streit (Switzerland) and Jake Voracek (Czech Republic).

Raffl, 25, was named to the Austrian team last week. He will be playing alongside his older brother, Thomas Raffl, whom he hasn't seen since the summer. Raffl helped Austria qualify last February for the first time since 2002 in Salt Lake City via a play-in tournament.

Voracek, 24, is making his first Olympic appearance. He found out he made the cut by watching the Czech news conference on the Internet on Monday.

"It was pretty emotional, to be honest," Voracek said. "My mom was very excited on the phone. The Olympics, I think, is the highest you can go for your country. I can't wait. It's very special."

Streit, 36, is making his fourth appearance at the Olympics for Switzerland. The Swiss, with more NHL players than ever, are trying to build on their 11th-, sixth- and eighth-place finishes in Streit's tenure. Streit said walking in the Opening Ceremonies for the first time was one of the highlights of his career.

"The best players are going to be there," Streit said. "It's a great experience. I'm really excited for the challenge. Switzerland has big expectations this year, Swiss hockey has come a long way in the last 10, 12, 15 years."

For Slovakia, where expectations are equally high, Meszaros is hoping he can help his country make waves like it did in Vancouver, where the Slovaks nearly knocked off Canada to reach the gold-medal game 4 years ago. Slovakia lost to Timonen's Finland in the bronze-medal game.

There are only 10 other Slovakians skating in the NHL, all of whom Meszaros maintains a close relationship with. The 2 weeks in Russia will be a welcomed break for Meszaros' up-and-down season with the Flyers.

"It will be great," Meszaros said. "I'd rather play than rest. Vancouver was amazing. I think it's the biggest goal you can achieve, not just for hockey, but for any athlete. Playing for your team is one thing, but playing for your country is another thing entirely."

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