Pre-Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, Canadian Version!

Komak
From http://www.olympic.ca Komak, Canada’s official mascot for the 2014 Olympic Games

To my faithful readers, I’m sorry that I haven’t published this earlier. I’m still not back 100 %, but since the Games start in 7 days, I thought I’d better get my behind moving on this one.

So first, let’s start with a list of some of the most Canadian medals won at a single Olympic Games by Canadians:

Gaetan Boucher, in Speed skating, at the 1984 Winter Games, won 2 Gold and 1 Bronze (3).
Alex Baumann, in Swimming, at the 1984 Summer Games, won 2 Gold (2).
Myriam Bédard, in Biathlon, at the 1994 Winter Games, won 2 Gold (2).
Donovan Bailey, in Athletics, at the 1996 Summer Games, won 2 Gold (2).
Marc Gagnon, in Short-track Speed skating, at the 2002 Winter Games, won 2 Gold, and 1 Bronze (3).
Charles Hamelin, in Short-track Speed skating, at the 2010 Winter Games, won 2 Gold (2).

As promised, following are stories of individual Olympians that stand out. Some are Canadian, but some aren’t. Since the flavour of the Olympic Games is of the International kind, I figure I can get away from writing my usual only-Canadian content [grin].

Hayley Wickenheiser, 25, Saskatchewan Olympian winner, has been chosen to become flag bearer on February 7, 2014 at Sochi’s opening ceremonies. She’s become quite the legend in Women’s hockey. “I have been chosen as Canada’s flag bearer, but today is about carrying the hopes and dreams of nearly 35 million Canadians to Sochi. I can’t wait to lead an amazing group of athletes who have dedicated their lives to achieving their Olympic dreams for both themselves and Canada.”

Everyone knows about the Titanic sinking off the coast of Newfoundland on April 14, 1912. But not many know about a passenger by the name of Richard Norris Williams, an American tennis player. He fought for his life in the icy waters, while his father drowned, along with so many other souls that night. He was headed to Harvard University on a tennis scholarship. His collapsible lifeboat was rescued after 6 hours in the water, and it seemed his dreams were dashed as well. The doctors thought he would lose his legs. But when they asked for his permission, he refused. His only dream in life was tennis. And so he devoted all his time and energy to rehabilitation and exercise. He slowly regained his strength. He went on to become a tennis star at Harvard and also became an American Open and Wimbledon champion. And then, on July 21, 1924, he won gold in the tennis mixed doubles at the Olympic Games in Paris, France.

On December 14, 1956, Diver Irene MacDonald won a bronze medal in the women’s 3m springboard event, at the Games in Melbourne. Impressive, as this was Canada’s first medal in diving, and would not be had again until the Los Angeles Games in 1984.

Ian Miller has become a legend as an Equestrian show jumper at the Olympic Games. As a matter of fact, in 2012, he tied the record for competing in the most Games; Austrian sailor Hubert Raudaschi set the record for his competition of eleven straight Olympic Games between 1964 and 1996.

Cindy Klassen holds the record for the most medal wins by a Canadian, of either gender, with 6 medals.

My last story for this post is of Clara Hughes. She became the first and only Olympian, of either gender and any  country, to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

The best place to learn about Canada at Sochi is at Olympic.ca.

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