Canada in Rio: Who to watch, follow and get excited about
First up Some Stats!
313: The number of athletes that will represent Team Canada.
187: The number of women named to Team Canada — (60%).
126: The number of men named to Team Canada — (40%).
34: The difference of total Canadian competitors from London 2012 (279) to Rio 2016 (313).
Athletes by Province
Alberta — 31.
British Columbia — 68.
Manitoba — 8.
New Brunswick — 1.
Nova Scotia — 7.
Ontario — 132.
Quebec — 54.
Saskatchewan — 5.
Outside of Canada — 7.
The men’s volleyball team is returning to the Olympics for the first time in 24 years!
The women’s soccer team has also qualified for the Games – they took home bronze in London 2012, Canada’s first medal in a traditional team sport at the Summer Olympics since the 1936! Joining them will be the women’s basketball, women’s rugby and men’s field hockey teams. The women’s rugby team have played, lived, and trained in Langford for the past 4 years and features BC’s Kayla Moleschi!
It’s also the most team entries since Canada entered five teams at the 2008 Beijing Games.
ROSIE MACLENNAN – Trampoline
Canada’s lone reigning Olympic champion is back to defend her women’s trampoline title.
ANDRE DE GRASSE – 100 metre
This newcomer burst onto the track and field scene in 2015. The Markham, Ont., native won both the 100- and 200-metre sprints at the NCAA championships and captured two gold medals at the Pan Am Games. He capped off his amazing season by winning bronze in the 100m at the world championships, running 9.92 seconds. The Canadian record of 9.84 and an impressive performance in Rio (at what would be his first Olympics) are within reach.
SANTO CONDORELLI – Swimming
Santo Condorelli has become a force in Canadian swimming. The 21-year-old won three medals at the Toronto Pan Am Games: silver in the 100-metre freestyle and two bronze, in the 4x100m freestyle relay and the 100-metre butterfly. His relay lead off time of 47.98 seconds was one of the top four times in 2015. Expectations for Condorelli have significantly risen, especially after defeating American legend Michael Phelps twice this past season.
THE FAB IV – Diving and Synchro
Quebec divers Roseline Filion (pictured, left), Jennifer Abel, Meaghan Benfeito (pictured, right) and Pamela Ware – known as the Fab IV – are all medal threats in both synchro and individual events. They also say they’re best friends who love to have fun together.
Some Islanders to watch:
RYAN COCHRANE – Distance Swimming
The 27-year-old Claremont Secondary graduate Cochrane won bronze in the 1,500 metres at the 2008 Beijing Games and added Olympic silver four years later in London. So, logically that means the Gold comes next right?!
A Stelly’s Secondary and a triathlete prodigy from an early age from the Saanich Peninsula, Sweetland seemed destined for the Olympics. It just took her longer to get there than most thought after she swept to the 2006 women’s world junior title.
LINDSAY JENNERICH and PATRICIA OBEE
The Canadian lightweight doubles rowing crew from Victoria went into the 2012 London Olympics as the silver medallists from the 2011 world championships but failed to make the Olympic final in London.
CATHARINE PENDREL – Mountain Biking
It got serious quickly and escalated to two women’s world championships and gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Am Games. But the Olympic podium has so far eluded Pendrel, with fourth at Beijing in 2008 and ninth at London in 2012. At 35 years of age, this could be her last chance.
Original Article from the Times Colonist Sunday, July 31 paper and The Globe and Mail