PyeongChang 2018: A Record-Breaking Winter Games for Canada

Monday, March 19, 2018
PyeongChang 2018: A Record-Breaking Winter Games for Canada
  • Canada finishes with 28 medals, its most ever at a Paralympic Winter Games
  • Canadians close out PyeongChang 2018 with four medals on Day 9 

PyeongChang, March 18, 2018 – With Para nordic skier Mark Arendz representing the Canadian Paralympic Team as flag bearer at the Closing Ceremony, Canada officially concluded a record-breaking nine days of competition with 28 medals won at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. This is Canada’s greatest number of podium finishes at a Paralympic Winter Games in history. In the standings, Canada finished second in medal count behind the United States who won 36 medals, including 13 gold.

MEDAL CHART:
  
Gold – 8    Silver – 4    Bronze – 16    TOTAL 28

With 28 total medals, Canada has crushed its previous best Paralympic Winter Games, 19 medals won at Vancouver 2010. The goal entering competition at PyeongChang had been to improve upon the 16 medals won four years ago in Sochi. The Vancouver Games still marks the most gold medals won by Canada with 10.

“We are so proud of all of our athletes, coaches, and support staff here in PyeongChang,” said Todd Nicholson, Chef de Mission for the Canadian Paralympic Team. “This has been a superb Paralympic Games for the Canadian Paralympic Team. Not only did we meet our goal of exceeding 16 medals won at Sochi 2014, we absolutely smashed right through it. It has been a phenomenal nine days of Paralympic action. There is a lot of hard work behind-the-scenes that goes into those performances and they are so well-deserved. Congratulations to our entire team; it has been such a joy to watch everyone compete.” 

“The hard work, dedication and commitment of every member of the team contributed to Canada’s most successful Paralympic Winter Games,” said Mark Arendz, six-time medallist in PyeongChang and Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony. “Whether athlete, coach, staff, or official, everyone showcased their commitment to the task and pride for the Canadian flag in what they did to help achieve this historic Games.”

“All of our Paralympians have distinguished themselves during these Games and we are very pleased with the results,” said Marc-André Fabien, President, Canadian Paralympic Committee. “All Canadians should be extremely proud of these incredible performances. We acknowledge the great work from our national sport organizations, the coaches, and the support staff whom have invested in our athletes for these Games. Through record-breaking viewership on all platforms, Canadians proved they want to witness Paralympic sport and they are eager to support our athletes by tuning in. We would like to thank our media partners and sponsors for supporting our media consortium efforts.”

TOP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mark Arendz (Hartsville, PEI) won the most medals by a Canadian in a single Paralympic Winter Games with six medals across biathlon and cross-country – one gold, two silver, and three bronze.
  • Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC) was the most prolific female medallist for Canada, as the 18-year-old won four in Para alpine skiing – one gold (super combined), one silver (slalom), and two bronze (downhill and giant slalom).
  • Brian McKeever (Canmore, AB) became Canada’s most decorated Winter Paralympian of all-time with his gold medal in the 20KM cross-country race to hit 14 Paralympic medals. He added to his total with two golds in the 1.5KM sprint and 10KM race, and a bronze in the 4x2.5KM Open Relay. He now holds 17 Paralympic medals, 13 of which are gold.
  • Canada’s Para ice hockey team won silver, besting its result from the past two Paralympic Games. They lost a heartbreaking final 2-1 to the United States in overtime.
  • Six teenagers captured medals – Natalie Wilkie (Salmon Arm, BC) in Para nordic, Mollie Jepsen and Alexis Guimond (Gatineau, QC) in Para alpine, and Liam Hickey (St. John’s, NL), James Dunn (Wallacetown, ON), and Corbyn Smith (Monkton, ON) in Para ice hockey. Together, they were part of eight medals for Canada.
  • Canada’s youngest athlete in PyeongChang won three medals – 17-year-old Natalie Wilkie a gold, silver, and bronze in cross-country skiing.
  • The oldest athlete on the team also won a medal – 58-year-old Jamie Anseeuw (Oak Bluff, MB) a bronze in wheelchair curling.
  • 20 athletes won their first-ever Paralympic medals in PyeongChang.
  • 14 athletes from Ontario won a medal in PyeongChang (11 from the Para ice hockey team). Athletes from other provinces going home with medals include: Alberta (seven), British Columbia (five), Manitoba (four), Saskatchewan (two), Prince Edward Island (two), Quebec (two), Newfoundland and Labrador (one), and Yukon (one). 
  • 11 athletes won multiple medals at these Games (including three guides): Mac Marcoux (Sault Ste-Marie, ON) and guide Jack Leitch (Calgary, AB), Brian McKeever and guides Graham Nishikawa (Whitehorse, YK) and Russell Kennedy (Canmore,  AB), Mollie Jepsen, Alana Ramsay (Calgary, AB), Mark Arendz, Collin Cameron (Sudbury, ON), Natalie Wilkie, and Emily Young (North Vancouver, BC).
  • Canada kept its podium streak alive in wheelchair curling for the fourth straight Games, since the sport debuted at the Paralympics in 2006. The team won bronze.
  • Alexis Guimond became the first Canadian male standing skier to medal in 20 years. The 18-year-old rebounded from two fourth-place finishes to win bronze in the men’s standing giant slalom event.
  • Collin Cameron became the first Canadian Para nordic sit skier ever to medal with his bronze in the 7.5KM biathlon. He added a second bronze medal later in the 15KM race and again in the 4x2.5KM Open Relay in cross-country.
  • Canadians just missed the podium several other times as well, with nine fourth-place results and five more in the Top 5.

The Canadian Paralympic Team will be arriving back home on March 19 and 20 and CIBC Welcome Home Celebrations are planned at the airports in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto to greet the athletes as they return back home to Canada. 

Story and Photo: Canadian Parlympic Committee

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