Olympic competition is in full swing and several Canadian speakers from the NSB roster have taken their places on all three steps of the Sochi podium.
NSB Speaker Kelsey Serwa picked up her first olympic medal with a silver medal performance in women’s ski cross. Partial credit on the finish goes to a ‘Lucky Loonie’ Serwa kept in her pocket for the final run. The event proved to be a fruitful one for Canada with Marielle Thompson finishing on top of the podium. Both medal favourites heading into the finals, the two actually worked together giving each other space in the turns to maximize Canada’s chances at victory.
NSB Speakers Hayley Wickenheiser, Jayna Hefford and Meaghan Mikkelson all played key roles in Canada’s dramatic come-from-behind victory in the women’s hockey gold medal game against their arch rivals the Americans. Facing near defeat, the Canadian’s were saved by the post as the puck narrowly missed an empty-net. The Canadian’s then regained momentum and took the win in overtime sending Canadian fan’s into a fit of celebration. Wickenheiser and Hefford both picked up their fourth olympic gold medals in their careers, while Mikkelson – playing with a broken hand – picked up her second olympic gold. NSB exclusive speaker Dick Pound was on hand to present the Canadian team with their medals.
NSB Speakers and now two-time Olympic champions Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, took their place in Canadian and Olympic history by becoming the first women bobsledders to defend Olympic Gold. This puts them both in an elite class of Canadian athletes (including Alexandre Bilodeau, below and Catriona Le May Doan) who have achieved such success in consecutive Olympic appearances.
NSB Speaker Mike Riddle captured a silver medal in the men’s freestyle ski halfpipe event. Heading into the final round, Mike saw it sixth place, and weather conditions were worsening, but on the biggest stage with the world watching, he put together an amazing run, landing both of his key tricks. Competing against some who were a decade younger than him, Mike proved experience is key on the Olympic stage. A close friend of Sarah Burke – a former team-mate who died during training – Mike went into the event with a heavy heart, and delivered a result that would’ve made her proud.
NSB Speaker and three-time reigning world champion, Patrick Chan of Toronto skated into second place in the men’s free skate on Friday, after helping team Canada to another silver medal in the Ice Dancing competition. Despite being the gold medal favourite heading into the competition he was disappointed with his errors. He told CBC after his performance: “I guess all Canadians say sorry, but I am”. No need Patrick, we are proud of you and all our team Canada athletes!
NSB Speaker Mark McMorris from Regina brought Canada its first medal with Bronze in slopestyle snowboarding on day one. Mark fought out steep competition to make it to the podium, including battling through a fractured rib he suffered at the X Games only two-weeks before.
NSB Speaker Charles Hamelin from Montreal took home Gold in the men’s 1,500 metre short track speed skating competition in Sochi on Monday. Hamelin turned on the gas in the latter half of the race and held off his competitors to edge out his nearest competitor hailing from China. We expect great things in the coming days of competition from both Charles and his equally talented brother (and NSB Speaker) François Hamelin.
NSB Speaker Alexandre Bilodeau of Montreal made history by winning back to back Gold medals in consecutive winter games on Monday. He shared the podium with fellow Canadian Mikael Kingsbury, clinching the Gold and Silver medals for Men’s Freestyle Skiing- Moguls.
Other Canadian medalists include the Dufour-Lapointe sisters — Chloe and Justine from Montreal who brought home Canada’s first Gold and Silver medals in Women’s freestyle skiing moguls. They competed, along with their eldest sister Maxime (who made it through the top 12 but was edged out of the final) to beat the incumbent Vancouver 2010 Gold medalist, American Hannah Kearney.
Number one ranked in the world going into the Games, Mikael Kinsbury finished just short of Alex Bilodeau taking home a Silver medal for Team Canada in Men’s Freestyle Moguls.
Scott Virtue and Tessa Moir clinched Silver medals in the inaugural figure skating team event on Sunday, right after they finished second in the ice dance free skate.
Jan Hudec – skiing on surgically repaired knees – ended Canada’s 20-year Olympic medal drought when we took home a bronze medal in the Super-G.
Curling proved to be paved in gold for Canada with the women – led by skip Jennifer Jones – defeating Sweden 6-3, and the men – led by skip Brad Jacobs – defeating Great Britan 9-3.