GANGNEUNG — When cross-country snowboarding beast Alex Harvey sprinted gamely to the end line to assert fourth place within the males’s 50-kilometre occasion Saturday, it was one probably the most spectacular shows by a Canadian athlete right here.
Certain, it won’t have added to the 29 medals the Canadian staff will return house with, nevertheless it was yet one more illustration of the depth we confirmed throughout an unlimited vary of sports activities and disciplines in these Video games. It served as a reminder that uncommon is the occasion within the Winter Olympics that Canada has no shot at reaching the rostrum.
Canada’s report medal whole from these Video games got here from venues far and large, starting from the ice rinks of the coastal cluster to the mountains and the sliding centre, the place so lots of the conventional winter occasions have been held.
Now not do Canadian athletes focus their medal searching on a number of, remoted occasions and because the final three Olympics have confirmed, we have now develop into a Winter Video games energy.
There have been some delicate surprises right here — good and unhealthy — over the 17 days of competitors and that comes with the territory of the high-end stress related to the Olympics. However the fantastic thing about monitoring Canadian outcomes now could be that past the present disastrous state of conventional alpine snowboarding, there have been few occasions that you may fully ignore as a result of there wasn’t a shot at a medal.
And any of the disappointing surprises of medal misses have been greater than made up for with the consistency proven by many and the occasional podium end that wasn’t anticipated.
So when Canadian males’s and girls’s curlers have been blanked of their competitions, there was virtually at all times a pleasing outcome to take its place. So lengthy Kevin Koe and Rachel Homan on the curling venue? Effectively good day Alex Gough and Sam Edney on the luge run.
Whereas there was justified angst with the efficiency of the curlers, the truth that Canadians hit the luge podium for the primary time in Olympic historical past — and never as soon as, however twice — is in a broader pitcher of larger significance.
The remainder of the world could also be catching up in curling, however our worldwide success received’t come to an finish and there shall be a lot extra podium visits in that sport. However in luge, a wave of younger athletes impressed by Gough and Edney — lots of these roots established in Whistler on the 2010 Video games — signifies that the extra medals will be anticipated sooner or later.
Wanting nearer on the remaining medal desk, for example the general depth that has developed in winter sports activities, Canada completed third total with 11 gold, eight silver and 10 bronze medals falling simply wanting the 30-medal barrier. That haul was compiled over 9 totally different sports activities led by 5 in short-track pace skating and 4 every in determine skating, freestyle snowboarding and snowboard, and three in ski cross.
The ultimate breakdown exhibits that particular person medals have been a good 12 every for women and men with 5 coming in mixed occasions, one other necessary space of stability within the eyes of the COC.
There have been a few sports activities that provided wonderful examples of each depth and succession plans in full impact. It’s no shock that Canada captured gold within the snowboard massive air occasion, for instance, it’s simply that it was anticipated to return from Mark McMorris or Max Parrot. As a substitute, Sebastien Toutant took the highest spot on the rostrum.
It was the same story over in short-track pace skating the place stars of the previous gave strategy to stars of the current. Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony, Kim Boutin basically used the Video games as her popping out social gathering as Marianne St-Gelais’s sensible profession involves an finish. Boutin received three medals — a silver and two bronze — in a collective efficiency that urged the perfect is but to return.
On the lads’s facet, it was Charles Hamelin passing the torch to a skater who as soon as idolized him, Samuel Girard. Because of each Boutin and Girard’s emergence, Canada’s most prolific winter Video games medal-producing sport is in good fingers.
As with all multi-sport video games with lots of of athletes and dozens of occasions, there are going to be some misses. However thanks to numerous initiatives in those that run winter sports activities in Canada — be it funding or grass roots improvement — most of the time, depth trumps disappointment.
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