Great day for Canada! Could be more to come…

25 02 2010

The Canadian Olympic Committee has admitted that their “Own The Podium” campaign (the plan for Canada to win more medals than anyone else at the Winter Games) has fallen short of its mark. That said, Canadians have put on a hell of a performance in Vancouver.

Take Wednesday for example.

Canada picked up a total of four medals in competition yesterday: we took the top two podium positions in women’s bobsleigh. In short track speed skating, Canada picked up silver in the women’s 3,000m relay. And Clara Hughes wrapped up a brilliant Olympic career by winning bronze in the 5,000m long track speed skating event.

For Hughes, that makes a total of six Olympic medals: two in cycling in the Summer Games, dating back to 1996, and four more on the speed skating oval. This ties speed skating teammate Cindy Klassen as the Canadian Olympian with the most medals in her career!

Canada now has seven gold medals, tying the US and Germany for the most gold medals in these Games. And guess what? I don’t think we’re done! Canada takes on the US tonight in the gold medal game in women’s hockey, and there is the definite potential for more gold: in curling (where both the men’s and women’s skips have clinched first place after the round robin) and men’s hockey – and perhaps more!

Yesterday, I was asked who I thought should be the flag-bearer for Canada for Sunday’s closing ceremonies. At the time, my vote went to Alex Bilodeau, the freestyle skier who, last week, won Canada’s first-ever Olympic gold medal on home soil. I will still be pleased if he receives that honour.

But after Clara Hughes won her sixth medal, SunMedia columnist Steve Simmons tweeted that he thought that Hughes, who was the flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies, should also be the one to carry the flag on Sunday. Given what Clara has accomplished in her career, this would make a fitting way for Canada to celebrate what she’s achieved.

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