Canada leaves its most successful Olympics to date with 29 medals
After years of mediocrity in Olympic sport, Team Canada has slowly risen to become one of the most dominant countries in the Winter Olympics. Since the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver where the team won 14 gold medals, the most in Canadian history, our nation has consistently delivered high quality performances. No Olympic Games have been more successful for Canada than this year. Reaching a record of 29 medals, Canada placed third in the overall medal standings. Eleven gold, eight silver and ten bronze, behind only the surprising Norway with 39 medals and Germany with 31.
The non-profit organization Own the Podium was created in 2010 to help prepare Canadian athletes for medal finishes. The goal was for Canada to be a world leader in high performance sport at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The organization enabled more funding for winter sports throughout the country, helping athletes train and perform at their best, whilst being coached by top notch instructors.
The 2018 games, held in PyeongChang, South Korea, was a rousing success for the country.
On the second day of the games, 4 medals were awarded to team Canada, with a bronze going to Regina native Mark McMorris, who competed in Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding nearly eleven months after a horrific crash that landed him in the Intensive Care Unit. Maxence Parrot came away with a silver medal in the same event while later during the games, a gold for Sebastien Toutant in the Big Air event was rightly won.
Kim Boutin, a 23-year-old short track speed skater from Quebec amassed three medals in the games with two bronze and a silver. She was also chosen to be the flag bearer for Canada in the closing ceremonies.
Dutch born Ted-Jan Bloemen was able to win two medals in long track speed skating. He did so representing his adopted home of Canada, having moved here in 2014 to compete with the national team. His father was born in Bathurst, New Brunswick, allowing Bloemen the opportunity to have dual citizenship and the option of which country to compete for.
The always exciting Ski Cross event did not disappoint this year, as there were Gold medals awarded to both the men and women’s teams. Brady Leman from Calgary, along with Kelsey Serwa from Kelowna took home the golds, with Kelsey’s teammate Brittany Phelan capturing silver.
Some scintillating, sensual performances from Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (are they dating??) set the internet on fire, as they captured the gold medal in Ice Dancing. They also claimed a gold in the figure skating team event. This was the final Olympics for the duo, and the two were honored with flag bearing duties at the opening ceremonies.
Mixed Doubles Curling made its maiden appearance at the Olympics this year, where the team of John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes won the gold medal. It was unfortunately the only gold medal for Canada in curling, as the women’s team was eliminated in round robin play, while the men fell into fourth after a tough bronze medal match. This was the first Olympics that Canada failed to medal in men’s and women’s curling.
While individual athletes flourished, teams had tougher times. The vaunted Women’s Hockey team took their first loss at the Olympics since February 17, 1998 in heartbreaking fashion, having to settle for silver, with a shootout loss to the Americans. The men’s team was unexpectedly upset by Germany in the semi-finals, but was able to bounce back, defeating the Czech Republic in the bronze medal game. This was the first Olympics since 1994 that prohibited NHL players participation, which greatly impacted the level of play during the tournament.
However, several electric performances and all-around dominance helped captivate many, even if the time difference was 13 hours for viewers back home. The great success of this year’s games potentially opens the door for Canada to host another Olympics, with the bidding of the 2026 games being potentially pursued by the city of Calgary.