PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA (NEWS 1130) – Canadians from coast to coast were glued to their TV or smartphone over the last two weeks riding the highs and lows of our athletes at the 2018 Winter Games.
All in all, it was a huge success.
Canadian athletes won a record 29 medals (11 gold, eight silver, 10 bronze) in Pyeongchang. The previous high for Canada was 26 medals at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
Canadian Olympic Committee President Tricia Smith says our athletes have made history.
“We reached these numbers because of a 10-year plus commitment to performance excellence from a country chasing the powerhouse nations. We’re now proudly in the top group, growing in strength and contending for number one.”
She adds the support for our athletes is incredible. “I think the support system in Canada is working really well collaboratively these days and certainly with the Games in 2010 and the creation of Own the Podium and we’re working so well with them as our technical partners and with Sport Canada.”
Teamwork makes the dream work. pic.twitter.com/BjdvvJ3e9m
— Scott Moir (@ScottMoir) February 12, 2018
Own the Podium CEO Anne Merklinger says she’s incredibly pleased with the results and looks forward to the next winter Games. “Our initial assessment of the performance of Canada’s team is that the trends are all positive. We’ve got more top five’s and top eight’s — that bodes really well for 2022 and 2026 and we’ve got new sports winning medals at the Olympic Games, so all those are extremely positive signs.”
Canada finished third, behind Norway and Germany and ahead of the US by six medals.
IOC President, Thomas Bach, says that by marching together at the Winter Games, athletes from South and North Korea showed they both believe in “a peaceful future.”
In his wrap-up speech at the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games, Bach said athletes from the divided Koreas showed that sport brings peoples together and builds bridges.
He said the IOC “will continue this Olympic dialogue” after the games.
Athletes from the two Koreas marched together at the ceremony, the North Koreans easy to spot in their largely red coats.
Bach hailed the Pyeongchang Olympics as “the games of new horizons.”
Bach also posed for a group photo with some of the athletes who have stood out in Pyeongchang, including skier Lindsey Vonn and Tongan cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua. He was again bare chested, as he was at the opening ceremonies, despite the numbing cold.
Team Canada was led by speedskater Kim Boutin, who was named flag-bearer, after capturing three medals at these Games.
The ceremony featured music, dance, light shows and fireworks and the popular boy band EXO hit the stage.
The next Winter Games will be held in Beijing in 2022.