Now that the Olympics are over I am going to take a look back at all the moments that made us Canadians watching at home proud of our athletes.
These moments are ones that we will not forget when we think about the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and I’m sure have inspired many younger athletes across Canada.
This was the most successful winter Olympics for team Canada in terms of metals. This year team Canada had 225 athletes competing in 14 sports. We won a total of 29 metals (11 gold, 8 silver, and 10 bronze), which was the third best in countries in the metal race.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are pairs in ice dance and have been a huge part of team Canada for the last three Olympics. This year they were granted the opportunity to be the flag bearers for team Canada in the opening ceremonies.
This Olympics was likely going to be their last, and after retiring for two years after Sochi in 2014, they announced their comeback two years before the Pyeongchang Olympics. There was a lot of pressure on them to win gold after winning silver in 2014 and also because they were the favourites, but they didn’t disappoint. After their short dance they were at the top of leaders board with a score of 83.67, which is a new world record in short dance for their event. The next day at the free dance Tessa and Scott earned a score of 122.40 with a combined score of 206.07, good enough for first place overall.
This was their fifth Olympic metal in three Olympics and their third gold. This was one of the best moments at the Olympics as the best pair ice dancers of all time ended their career on top.
One of the best success stories for team Canada this Olympics was Kim Boutin, a short track speed skater. She was the first Canadian female short track speed skater to win three individual Olympic medals in a single Olympics. She won silver in the 1,000m race, and bronze in the 500m and 1,500m race.
She was also the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in the 1,500m race with a time of 2:25.834. Her success was so amazing that team Canada named her the flag bearer for the closing ceremonies.
In the past Olympics team Canada was never very strong in luge but that changed in Pyeongchang. Before this year Canada had never won an Olympic metal in luge, men or women. Alex Gough was the first to break that barrier after she won a bronze medal in luge with a time of 3:05.599, which was 0.412 seconds behind the lead.
Canada also won silver in the mixed team relay with Alex Gough, Samuel Edney, Justin Snith, and Tristan Walker with a time of 2:24.872. This result was redemption after placing fourth in Sochi.
One of the most inspiring and biggest comeback stories that came out of the 2018 Olympics was Mark McMorris. Mark is an Olympic snowboarder who won a bronze medal for Canada in Sochi.
Back in 2016, while he was training, he broke his right femur but recovered and was able to qualify for the Olympics in Pyeongchang. In March 2017, McMorris went boarding in the backcountry at Whistler, British Columbia. He hit a tree and suffered serious, near-fatal injuries, which included a fractured jaw, fractured left arm, ruptured spleen, pelvic fracture, fib fractures, and a collapsed left lung. He was put into an induced coma and underwent two successful surgeries.
Only eleven months later McMorris competed for team Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympic games and won a bronze medal in men’s slope style, earning his second Olympic bronze medal. It is amazing that Mark was able to recover and to continue snowboarding after what happened to him and then to keep pushing and win an Olympic medal.
His story has been a true inspiration for people to push through the hard times and not let anything stop them for achieving their dreams.
The Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games was a huge success for Team Canada and is now something Canadians can look back on and feel a sense of pride to be Canadian. So many inspirational stories came out of it that I’m sure inspired kids and young teens to compete in future Olympics.
I’m also sure that these stories will continue in the 2018 Paralympics, which started on March 9th. It’s important to support our Paralympic athletes as they compete for Canada and inspire many people in Canada with disabilities that they can do anything.
For the next two weeks Canada has 55 Athletes competing in six events. In the first two days Canada has already won two gold metals, one silver, and three bronze. You can watch the Paralympics on CBC.