Many of these great feats were achieved by Canadian athletes. And with the Closing Ceremony on the horizon (Sunday at 6:30 a.m. ET on SN / SN1), the question now becomes: who will carry the Canadian flag? And after the Canadian Olympic Committee bestowed the honor of the Opening Ceremony on of them The Olympians – basketball star Miranda Ayim and rugby player Nathan Hirayama – to usher in the Games as co-carriers, could we see another collaborative effort?
It is important to stress that this year’s decision will be a little different from that of the previous Games. In accordance with the long list of COVID-19 safety protocols in place, athletes must leave Tokyo approximately 48 hours after the conclusion of their final competition. This means that several medalists from the first half of the Games, including Canada’s formidable swimmers, are already at home.
As for the athletes currently in Tokyo and more than worthy of this honor, we will take inspiration from the track and the soccer field to find out who could represent Canada at the closing ceremony on Sunday:
André De Grasse | Sprinter
Between Rio and now Tokyo, Canada’s star sprinter has become a safe bet as Canada has seen him on the track – he reached six Olympic finals and won all the medals.
After winning bronze in the men’s 100-meter sprint with a personal best 9.89 seconds in Tokyo, De Grasse reached his ultimate goal in the 200-meter when he won his first-ever Olympic gold, his time in 19.62 also. set a new Canadian record. His performance atop the podium marked the first time in nearly a century that a Canadian has won gold in the men’s 200 meters (Percy Williams won the event 93 years ago in Amsterdam in 1928) and c tis the third time in history that a Canuck has won the one event.
Then on Friday De Grasse added to his legacy when he ran the final stage of the men’s 4x100m relay and won bronze alongside Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney and Jerome Blake, becoming the only Canadian sprinter to win three Olympic medals in one Games.
– Sportsnet statistics (@SNstats) August 6, 2021
Damien Warner | decathlon
To call him the best all-around athlete in the world is not hyperbole. Warner’s performance in the Games’ most grueling event, the decathlon, was not only inspiring, it was historic. Sitting in first place before the final discipline, Warner found another speed on the 1,500-meter home stretch, posting a time of 4:31:08 to win and do so Canada’s first-ever decathlon gold. with a new Olympic record. of 9,018 points.
For decathletes, reaching 9,000 points is truly a mark of greatness. Warner is only the fourth athlete to surpass him, writing his name in the history books of one of the Games’ most significant events. (France’s Kevin Mayer, who won silver in Tokyo, recorded 9,126 points in 2018, which is the highest score in history.)
To put his accomplishments in certain disciplines of the decathlon into perspective, his time of 10.12 seconds in the 100 meters would have seen him almost qualify for the final of this individual event, running among the fastest men on the planet. His performance in the long jump, 8.24 meters, would have won him bronze in the men’s singles long jump event.
He also set an Olympic record in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13:46 and a personal best in the pole vault.
– Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 5, 2021
Christine Sinclair | Captain of the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team
She is a four-time Olympian, the face of soccer in Canada and the all-time top scorer on the international stage. And now Sinclair is finally Olympic champion.
After leading Canada to back-to-back bronze medals in London and Rio, the longtime Canadian captain led the national team to the Olympic field in Tokyo in their campaign to “change the color” of their medal. On Friday, the women’s team did just that with a golden victory over Sweden.
Sinclair’s legacy in the sport was already cemented, its impact being felt on fields across the country. Even this particular team is a testament to their long-term impact – the young stars who have played prominent roles in this tournament have grown up watching them and following in her footsteps. Its impact on the growth of Canadian soccer will continue to be visible for decades to come.
Sinclair was Canada’s flag bearer at the 2012 closing ceremony after leading the country to the bronze medal. Now a gold medalist at 38, a lap of honor would be a fitting conclusion to these Games.
The GOAT and its gold pic.twitter.com/r89UBKxNQq
– CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) August 6, 2021
Jessie Fleming | Canadian Women’s Soccer Midfielder
Canada’s redemption tour and search for gold were shaped by the power (and drama!) Of Fleming’s right foot. “Clutch” is the word to describe Team Canada’s icy midfielder and Olympic gold medalist. On three occasions, she has been called upon by her country to take the penalty in a must-see game to bring Canada to the table – first against the United States in the semi-finals, then in the final on Friday against Sweden in regulation time and finally. shootout – and three times she delivered with the ultimate focus and shine.
Stéphanie Labbé | Canadian women’s soccer team goaltender
If we are talking about clutch performance, we must also highlight Labbé. The Canadian soccer goalie put on a very strong Olympic tournament and her efforts took center stage in the gold medal game. Her calm, cool strength was on full display in a shootout, in which she held a clinic on how to read a shooter, diffuse an opponent’s momentum, and make the biggest saves in the most great moments. She has already said that these will be her last Games – what a way out, at the top.
Or, the entire Canadian women’s soccer team!
Canada’s golden soccer victory was truly a team effort, and it would be fitting to make the closing ceremony a whole team affair, at least symbolically. Between Sinclair’s leadership, Labbé’s dominance, Fleming’s boots and shootout winner Julia Grosso, and midfielder Quinn’s inspiring run to gold as the first openly trans, non-binary person to win an Olympic medal, this team is full of stars, icons and models worthy of the honor of carrying the flag in Tokyo.
HONORABLE MENTIONS, AT HOME
Even though Canada’s top swimmers are already back in Canada and therefore unavailable to carry the flag in Tokyo, we cannot have the conversation about Canada’s top flag bearer candidates without also highlighting the accomplishments of a pair of swimmers. in Maggie Mac Neil and Penny Oleksiak:
Maggie Mac Neil | Swimmer
Mac Neil’s Olympic debut brought some firsts not just for her, but for the nation. Early in the Games, Mac Neil helped win Canada’s first medal in 2021 – silver, in the women’s 4 × 100 freestyle relay, alongside Kayla Sanchez, Rebecca Smith and Oleksiak. A day later, she won Canada’s first-ever gold medal at those Games when she stunned the world with her incredible swimming performance, leading what was a historically strong group of competitors in the 100-meter butterfly.
She added a bronze medal in the 4x100m medley relay to complete the winning trifecta and write another chapter in Canada’s success story at the Olympic pool.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who attended my first Olympic trip. I couldn’t have done it without all of you! (seriously!)
It’s amazing to come home with that, and I’m so proud to represent London and the best country there pic.twitter.com/rRxTIyzlUS
– Maggie Mac Neil OLY (@mags_swims26) August 1, 2021
Penny Oleksiak | Nageur
Five years ago, Canada saw a 16-year-old Oleksiak make her mark at the pool in Rio, becoming the first Canadian athlete to win four medals at the same Games with both gold, silver and bronze. . She also led the nation throughout the closing ceremony as Canada’s flag bearer.
It made more of history in Tokyo. Her trio of medals – silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay and bronze in the 200m freestyle and 4 × 100 medley relay – makes her the most decorated Canadian Olympian of all time and a potential candidate to carry the flag at new.