We’re just over halfway through the Summer Olympics in Rio and Team Canada has sprinted, dived, swam, cycled and bounced their way onto the podium. So far, we’ve won 14 medals to date and a whopping 12 of those have been won by women. With four more days left of competition, we’re eyeing Team Canada’s goal of 19 medals and a 12th place overall country rank. It’s a tall order, but judging from the brilliance our Canadian athletes have shown already, it seems totally within grasp. Let’s take stock of Team Canada’s most memorable medal moments so far.
Name: Penny Oleksiak
Event: Women’s 100-metre freestyle and women’s 100-metre butterfly
Medals: Gold, Silver
Sixteen-year-old swimming sensation Penny Oleksiak has a slew of new accolades to add to her resume: Gold and silver medallist, Olympic record holder in the 100-metre freestyle, the first ever Canadian to win four medals in a single Summer Olympics and the country’s youngest Olympic medallist. She’s also the favourite to carry the Canadian flag at Sunday’s closing ceremonies and got personal shout-out from Drake on Instagram.
Name: Rosie MacLennan
Canada’s opening ceremony flag bearer Rosie MacLennan proved once again that she’s made of gold when she won the top spot in trampoline. Her performance—which saw the gymnast bouncing some six-metres in the air, attempting seemingly impossible twists and flips—is even more impressive when you consider that only last year she thought she might never be able to compete again after developing a concussion after a serious fall. She’s the first Canadian to win back-to-back gold medals at a Summer Olympics.
Name: Andre De Grasse
Medals: Silver, Bronze
The first time Markham, Ont.’s Andre De Grasse won the 100-metre dash, he was a high school junior in basketball shorts and Converse sneakers. Fast forward to Rio, and the 21-year-old sprinted his way to a bronze medal in the same race. It was the first time since Donovan Bailey’s gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games that a Canadian man has made it to the Olympic podium in the 100-metre dash. And, thanks to behind-the-scenes footage, we can all see exactly how excited Bailey is to see his legacy live on in De Grasse. De Grasse snagged doubled his Olympic medals when he won silver in the 200-metre sprint.
Name: Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee
Event: Lightweight women’s double sculls
Victoria-based rowers Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee won the silver medal in the 2,000-metre race. Known for their strong finishes, the Canadians were at the back of the group up until the halfway point, when they rowed their way from fifth to second place. The duo made their debut in lightweight women’s double sculls at the London 2012 Games, where they placed seventh.
Name: Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck, Chantal Van Landeghem, Sandrine Mainville
Event: Women’s 4x100-metre freestyle relay
The team snatched up the bronze by just eight hundredths of a second, with teen superstar Penny Oleksiak swimming in the anchor position. The last time Canada won a medal in the Women’s 4x100-metre freestyle relay was back in 1976 in Montreal.
Name: Penny Oleksiak, Katherine Savard, Taylor Ruck, Brittany MacLean
Event: 4x200-metre freestyle relay
Although going into the race the Canadians were considered an underdog, they proved themselves with a third place finish behind the United States and Australia. Like in the 4x100-metre freestyle relay, Penny Oleksiak anchored the team.
Name: Kirsti Lay, Allison Beveridge, Georgia Simmerling and Jasmin Glaesser
Event: Women’s team pursuit
At the Rio Olympic Velodrome, Canada’s women’s track cyclists blazed their way through the four-kilometre race in just four minutes 14.627 seconds, following up their bronze medal performance in London 2012 with another third place finish. Team member Georgia Simmerling is the first Canadian to compete in three different sports at three different Olympics: at the Vancouver 2010 games she competed in alpine skiing, and in Sochi, she competed in ski cross.
Name: Hilary Caldwell
Event: Women’s 200-metre backstroke
When 25-year-old Hilary Caldwell from White Rock, B.C., entered the Olympic pool for the 200-metre backstroke final, she continued Canada’s amazing medal streak in swimming. Her time of two-minutes 07.54 seconds won her the bronze and brought Canada’s total medal count in swimming to six — all of which were won by women.
Name: Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion
Event: Women’s 10-metre synchronized diving
Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que. won a bronze medal in the 10-metre synchro event, a follow-up to their bronze medal from the 2012 London Games. The duo have been through a lot together over the past 11 years (including Filion breaking her ankle this past December), but plunging into murky green water may have been a first. But as the pool in the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre turned a mossy hue throughout the event, the duo say it may have actually worked to their advantage: “It’s not the same colour as the sky, so that was really on our side today,” Filion said.
Name: Kylie Masse
Event: Women’s 100-metre backstroke
Just two years ago, Windsor, Ont.-born Kylie Masse was ranked 200th in the world in the women’s 100-metre backstroke. After a spectacular performance at Rio, she’s now number three. The University of Toronto student tied for the bronze medal with China’s Fu Yuanhui.
Name: Women’s rugby sevens team
Event: Women’s rugby sevens
The Canadian Women’s rugby sevens team made history by winning bronze in the event’s Olympic debut. After losing their semi-final match to Australia earlier in the day, Canada came back to win 33-10 over Great Britain for the bronze. Led by captain Jen Kish, the team trains at Rugby Canada’s centre in Langford, B.C.
Name: Brianne Theisen-Eaton
In heptathlon, athletes compete in seven track and field events (100-metre hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-metres, long jump, javelin throw and 800-metres) over the course of two days. It’s a gruelling affair, but Brianne Theisen-Eaton, the 27-year-old from Humbolt, Sask. Population: 5,600, was ranked number two in the world going into Rio and considered a medal hopeful. After a disappointing day one, she fought back to land herself in the bronze medal position — the first time a Canadian has ever made it to the podium in the event.
Credits: Julian Finney
Event: High jump
The world champion going into Rio, Derek Drouin held onto his reign in Rio with a season’s best leap of 2.38-metres. Can’t quite visualize how tall that is exactly? The National Post has put it into a very Canadian perspective: the 26-year-old from Corunna, Ont., could leap over 26 boxes of timbits, eight cases of Molson Canadian or one adult moose.