Heading into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Canadian sweethearts Marianne St-Gelais and Charles Hamelin were expected to lead the national short track speed skating team to glory and excellence. They made no secret that this was going to be their last Olympic Winter Games as they plan to marry this summer.
However after the first four events in short track speed skating at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, it is the two new kids on the block that have stepped on to the podium. In the women’s 1500m, Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Quebec won her second medal of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games after winning a bronze medal in the women’s 500m on February 13. Then moments later Canada recorded its fifth gold medal of the Olympic Winter Games when Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Quebec placed first in the men’s 1000m.
One of the most significant topics from a Team Canada perspective is what will happen in certain sports after all of the high performance Canadian athletes plan to retire after the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. In figure skating for example, it looks like Canada is heading toward a period of transition as many of the up and coming athletes will take some time before heading on to the podium. The same cannot be said for short track speed skating where Girard and Boutin are clearly rising stars in the sport and it is definite that the short track speed skating will be in great hands after St-Gelais and Hamelin retire.
Forget about the rising stars cliché. Their time is now. Girard and Boutin, along with St-Gelais and Hamelin still have the relays to compete in and one more individual event for each gender. The men have the 500m and the women have the 1000m.
Meanwhile in curling, Ottawa’s Rachel Homan finally delivered a victory, and it was dominant in fashion. The Canadians hammered the United States 11-3. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. They are still 1-3 and have a very difficult team from Switzerland on Saturday. On the men’s side, Canada lost 5-2 to Sweden for their first loss and in men’s hockey, Canada also lost their first game as they were beaten by the Czech Republic 3-2 in a shootout.