The end of the year is just about upon us, which means itís time to make lists of all the top athlete performances of 2010. There were so many awesome winter-sport moments this year, and Iíve already argued itís impossible to rank them fairly.
But what about athletes who did well in summer sports? Their highlights matter, too, yet have been swamped by all the winter accomplishments. Behold, my list ó not a ranking ó of summer-sport athletes and teams who were impressive in 2010.
The Canadian canoe/kayak team: At the 2010 world championships, three-time Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden won bronze in the K-1 500 metres and Richard Dalton won bronze in the C-1 200 metres. The first womenís canoe worlds medal event, the C-1 200 metres, was won by Canadaís Laurence Vincent-Lapointe. And the Canadian para-canoe squad also won two golds and a silver ó encouraging, since para-canoe recently was added to the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
In boxing, Mary Spencer won world championship gold in the womenís 75kg category. Womenís boxing will debut at the 2012 London Olympics, so Spencer is in a great position right now, after plugging away for years in obscurity.
Track cyclist Tara Whitten won world championship gold in both the points race and the omnium event. Guillaume Boivin won a world championship bronze medal in the menís U23 road race ó the first Canadian to earn a medal at the event. Mountain biker Catharine Pendrel won the world cup title after making the podium in four of seven races this year. Lauren Rosser, 16, won the world junior mountain bike title, while Steve Smith took silver in elite men. Canadians won seven para-cycling worlds medals. Also, Ryder Hesjedal finished an astonishing seventh in the 2010 Tour de France, the highest Canadian finish in the event in 22 years.
In trampoline, Rosannagh MacLennan won bronze at the 2010 worlds, suggesting she could follow in the footsteps of Karen Cockburn (her older teammate and mentor, who has three Olympic medals), while Corissa Boychuk won gold in the non-Olympic event of double mini trampoline.
In rowing, the lightweight womenís double sculls combination of Lindsay Jennerich and Tracy Cameron made a statement in winning world championship gold in the only Olympic boat for women under 59kg. Also, the Canadian adaptive four won gold, the womenís eight won silver and the lightweight menís pair won bronze.
The Canadian womenís freestyle wrestling team had an outstanding world championship: The 2008 Beijing Olympic champion, Carol Huynh, won bronze in 48kg, Ohenewa Akuffo won silver in 72kg and Martine Dugrenier won gold in 67kg.
In equestrian, the Canadian eventing team won silver and Eric Lamaze won bronze in individual show jumping at the 2010 world equestrian games.
At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Canadian swimmers, synchronized swimmers and divers recorded 12 gold medals, while the athletics team brought home seven gold. The ever-modest Priscilla Lopes-Schliepís domination in the 100-metre hurdles culminated with a Diamond League title.
Then there was triathlon: Paula Findlay won back-to-back World Championship Series titles in 2010 with victories in London, England and Kitzbuehel, Austria. Kirsten Sweetland came back from injuries and captured the silver medal at the under-23 world championship. And 17-year-old Joanna Brown shocked herself by winning the bronze medal at the world junior championships.
Also worth recognizing is the Canadian womenís soccer team, which has won its last 10 games, tying a national record. In 2010, Canada won three womenís international soccer tournaments, including the CONCACAF Womenís World Cup Qualifier, earning the team a spot at the 2011 FIFA Womenís World Cup. The team finished the 2010 season with its best stats ever: 13 wins, three draws and just two losses.
Well done, summer athletes. You havenít gone unnoticed.