With the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games set to start Friday, you may be wondering what type of team Canada is sending to South Korea. The answer is, possibly the best Canadian team ever.
The 2014 Sochi games were the first Winter Olympic games since 1984 Canada didn’t improve on their previous medal count. It’s not like Canada performed poorly in Sochi either; Canada finished second in the medal count (after Russia dropped to fourth) and only 1 medal behind Norway. For eight straight Winter Olympic games, Canada has came back a stronger team with more medal hopes.
Nothing less is expected this year in Pyeongchang. 225 Canadian athletes, performing in 15 different disciplines of sport can be a bit overwhelming. So below is a list of what Canadians are medal hopefuls for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir – Ice Dancing
Who else to start with other than the 2018 opening ceremony flag-bearers. The 2010 Olympic champions are coming out of retirement to avenge their 2014 silver medal in Sochi. The pair from London (Virtue) and Ilderton, Ontario (Moir) will have the podium on their mind while finishing their Olympic careers.
Kaillie Humphries – Bobsleigh
The Calgary native can make history again this year, if she becomes the first ever woman to win three straight Olympic golds in bobsleigh. The 32-year old was the first woman to repeat as Olympic Champions at the Sochi and Vancouver games. Humphries comes into Pyeongchang hot, after clinching her fourth World Cup title this year.
Max Parrot – Snowboarding
The 23-year old nicknamed “Big-Air” was the first ever snowboarder to land a quad underflip in competition. Parrot started strong at the Sochi games as the top qualifier in slopestyle, but went on to finish fifth in the event. Another Canadian entering Pyeongchang on fire after winning his third straight X-Games in January.
Mark McMorris – Snowboarding
The seven-time X-Games gold medalist enters Pyeongchang in the midst of a comeback. McMorris was seriously injured last year rupturing his spleen and breaking his arm, jaw, pelvis and ribs in an accident. The Regina native clearly has a flair for the dramatic winning his first event back from injury last year. Let’s see what he can do on the big stage.
The Dufor-Lapointe sisters – Moguls
Justine and Chloe will have the spotlight on them for women’s moguls. The sisters are coming off gold (Justine) and silver (Chloe) finishes at the 2014 Sochi games. They are the third set of sisters to finish 1-2 on an Olympic podium.
Mikael Kingsbury – Moguls
Klingsbury is known as Canada’s premier moguls skier, after dominating the sport since his silver medal in Sochi. The Deux-Montagnes, Quebec native has a all-time record of 48 World Cup wins and has won 18 of his last 25 events. The 25-year old is only missing one type of gold for his collection, an Olympic gold.
Charles Hamelin – Short-Track Speed Skating
The veteran on the this Canadian team, 33-year old Hamelin will try to add to his three Olympic gold medals. He won the 1500m gold at the Sochi games. This is the fourth Olympics for Hamelin and likely his last.
Ted-Jan Bloeman – Long-Track Speed Skating
A dutch-born skater that made the switch to compete for Canada in 2015. He enters Pyeongchang with confidence after setting the world record for 5000m in December.
Curling Teams – Men’s/Women’s/Mixed
There is one sport Canada dominates internationally more than hockey, and that is curling. Canada has reached the podium in every single curling event since curling was introduced in 1998. Three golds, two silvers for the men and Good news for Canada, the Olympics are introducing mixed-doubles curling this year. Let’s chalk up another medal for Canada.
Ice Hockey – Men’s/Women’s
Usually in Canada, days before the Winter Olympics all the talk would be surrounding the men’s hockey team. Our prized possession, the only major sport we dominate. Not this year. The usual favourite men’s team has no NHL players so it’s hard to to see them winning gold up against the likes of Kovalchuk and Datsyuk. The women on the other hand are basically a lock for gold or silver. The American and Canadian women’s teams are much better than their international competition.