Fri, September 20, 2013

Canada so far at the Olympics

By Chris Stevenson, QMI Agency


Antoine Valois-Fortier, who competed in Judo, addresses the media after winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (QMI Agency)


1. The Golden Roar

Finally, some big noise at Canada House. It was a sigh of relief. When it was starting to look like we might get shut out in the gold department, Rosie MacLennan delivered Canada’s first visit to the top step of the podium at these Games in trampoline. Another surprise from Week 1: Judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier from Quebec City had a shocker with a bronze medal in the under 81-kilogram class. He wasn’t even viewed as a medal contender by Judo Canada.

2. Great Eights

The Canadian men’s and women’s eight deliver silver medals off the water at Eton-Dorney. After an up-and-down performance here, the men deliver, coming second to the powerful Germans, unbeaten since 2008. The women put on a gritty performance in the last 500 metres to hold off the Netherlands for silver behind the Americans, who have a six-year winning streak.

3. Who’s Next?

Hitting the halfway mark, with our first gold finally pocketed, the question is who will get the next one? Kayaker Adam van Koeverden, mountain biker Catherine Pendrel and boxer Mary Spencer look like our best shots in the second week.

4. You Go, Girls!

The Canadian women’s basketball and soccer teams do the country proud. The cagers deliver their biggest win ever with an upset of the sixth-ranked Brazilians, a victory that will send Canada to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1984 Los Angeles Games which had a depleted field because of the Soviet boycott. The Canadian women’s soccer team, playing a gritty, physical style, drop the host Brits in the quarterfinal to advance against the Americans.

5. The Misses

At the other end of the spectrum from the nice surprises come the disappointments. After coming up just short of the podium in Beijing, shotputter Dylan Armstrong, one of Canada’s best podium hopes after willing a silver at the world championships, finishes fifth. The rowers expected to get five or six of their seven boats in finals; only three made it. After that scary accident in the runup to the Games, diver Alexandre Despatie and partner Reuben Ross finish sixth in syncro diving. Despatie will compete this week in the three-metre individual, where he has an outside shot at a medal.