Bronze is the new gold

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(Graphic by Adele Palmquist).


Well, it was no question that in 17 days, Canadians replaced the shine of gold for the naturally tarnished bronze. Whether that is a feat in itself — 12 bronze in an Olympic competition where, let’s face it, we’re not exactly that strong — or an absolute embarrassment, is up to the viewers.

But regardless of its finish, the Canadians made history in places they never thought they would, or were even expected to.

Take Christine Sinclair. That woman is a rocket. You don’t need to tell Canada twice that soccer is not our national sport, and I don’t remember the last time we qualified for Euro or the World Cup. But Sinclair came out of the dressing room with fire in her eyes and the soul of a champion.

She was the leading scorer of the entire tournament, and was the main threat against a United States team that was almost guaranteed a gold medal. Everyone knows that if the refereeing wasn’t worse than the games that were thrown by the badminton players, Canada would be shining with a gold or silver around their necks.

That didn’t blemish Sinclair’s celebration. She had every right to be the flag bearer. She came out of nowhere and had a leadership quality that I don’t believe any other Canadian had. She should be very proud of her accomplishments.

Alongside her, sitting at the top of the podium– literally– is Canada’s sole gold medalist. Rosie McLennan stole the hearts of Canadians not only with her personal best performance, but also with the story that went along with her stellar finish. She created a bond with families through the relationship she created with her grandfather– a gymnast that was recruited just before the 1940 Olympics and was unable to compete– and she brought a new face to the podium. She was good, we all knew that, but she was never on the radar of Canadians until her moment in the spotlight. After Canada was frustrated with the lack of golden finishes, McLennan broke it and remained the only woman– and athlete– to claim a gold medal in London 2012. She should be very proud.

My personal favourites however, came on the water. Adam Van Koeverden has always been a favourite of mine. He’s an incredible athlete and brought home a silver medal for Canada in the single kayak 100m sprint.

Not to mention this makes him top in my books:

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/08/13/for-many-canadian-olympians-these-are-the-goodbye-games/

His inspiration is endless. This man has worked for so many years in a kayak to become an exceptional athlete, and his personality shined on the playing field. He brought both the determination and unity that nations look for.

My wishes are that he returns in four years because Canada needs another inspiring athlete like him.

Shelby Blackley’s Top Canadian Athletes in #London2012:

Gold: Christine Sinclair

Silver: Adam Van Koeverden

Bronze: Rosie McLennan

Honourable Mentions:

Damian Warner, Brent Hayden, Simon Whitfield, Tonya Verbeek, Meaghan Benfeito

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