2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang
The 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang were the second Olympic Games hosted by South Korea (Seoul hosted the Olympic Summer Games in 1988). The Games were officially opened on 9 February by the president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, who described them as a “festival and celebration of peace.”
Despite the fact that North and South Korea were still technically at war (see Korean War), athletes from both countries marched together during the opening ceremonies under the unification flag. They also fielded a joint women’s hockey team during the Games (coached by Canadian Sarah Murray), while Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attended the Games as part of a North Korean delegation. This cooperation between the two countries was particularly noteworthy given the acceleration of the North Korean nuclear missile program and increasing tensions between North Korea and the United States prior to the Games.
Four new events debuted at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang: mixed doubles curling, mixed team alpine skiing, mass start speed skating and big air snowboarding. Team Canada won two gold medals in these new sports, Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris in mixed doubles curling and Sébastien Toutant in men’s big air snowboarding.
For the first time, two Canadians, ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, carried the flag in the opening ceremonies of an Olympic Games. Virtue called the honour “the pinnacle of our career” and expressed their “pride in representing a nation whose values stand for unity, diversity, fairness and inclusion.”
Team Canada had its best ever Olympics in snowboarding at the 2018 Games in PyeongChang. The Canadian team collected a national record of four medals, breaking the previous record of three medals at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
In men’s slopestyle snowboarding, Canadian Max Parrot won silver, while his teammate Mark McMorris won bronze. Parrot and McMorris were Canada’s first two medalists at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. It was McMorris’s second straight Olympic medal in the event after winning bronze at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Laurie Blouin took silver in the women’s competition, becoming the first Canadian to win an Olympic medal in women’s slopestyle snowboarding.
In men’s big air snowboarding, which made its debut at the 2018 Games, Sébastian Toutant won the Olympic gold medal. It was an historic victory, as it was Canada’s 500th medal in the history of the Olympic Games.
For the second consecutive Olympic Winter Games, Canada led all nations in freestyle skiing medals. After earning nine medals at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Team Canada won seven medals at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.
In men’s moguls, Mikaël Kingsbury won gold, improving from his silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The gold medal came as no surprise, as Kingsbury had dominated the World Cup circuit leading up to PyeongChang. In women’s moguls, Justine Dufour-Lapointe, who had won gold at Sochi in 2014, took silver.
In women’s ski cross, Kelsey Serwa and Brittany Phelan won gold and silver, respectively. It was the third consecutive Olympic championship for Canada in the event (Ashleigh McIvor won in 2010 and Marielle Thompson won in 2014) and the second time Canada won both gold and silver (Serwa won silver in 2014, after Thompson). Meanwhile, Brady Leman won gold in men’s ski cross, becoming the first Canadian man to earn an Olympic medal in the sport.
In women’s half-pipe skiing, Cassie Sharpe also won gold, setting an Olympic record with a score of 95.8 points and successfully executing back-to-back 900s and a cork 1080 in her second run. In men’s slopestyle skiing, Alex Beaulieu-Marchand had a personal best of 92.4 points to win Olympic bronze.
Heading into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Canada was a strong medal contender in all five Olympic figure skating events. The Canadian figure skaters came away with four medals, the most ever by Canada in figure skating at a single Olympic Winter Games.
In the team event, the Canadian team of Patrick Chan (men’s singles), Gabrielle Daleman and Kaetlyn Osmond (women’s singles), Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (pairs) and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (ice dance) won gold, improving upon their silver in the event’s debut at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
Virtue and Moir set a world record for most total points in an ice dancing competition with 206.07, winning the gold medal. They became the first figure skaters ever to win five Olympic medals, while Moir tied a Canadian record for most medals won by a male athlete in the history of the Olympic Games. Duhamel and Radford won the bronze medal in pairs competition, and Osmond won bronze in women’s singles.
Speed Skating (Long Track and Short Track)
In long track speed skating, the Canadian star was Ted-Jan Bloemen. A native of Leiderdorp in the Netherlands, Bloemen was eligible for Canadian citizenship because his father had been born in Bathurst, New Brunswick. Making his Olympic debut at the age of 31, Bloemen won silver in the men’s 5000m and gold in the men’s 10,000m, setting an Olympic record with a time of 12:39.77. Bloemen was the first Canadian to win a medal in the men’s 10,000m since Frank Stack won the bronze medal at the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid.
In short track speed skating, Kim Boutin became the second skater ever to win three individual medals at a single Olympic Winter Games (the first was Wang Meng of China at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino). Her first medal was a bronze in the women’s 500m, which was awarded after Choi Min-jeong of South Korea was disqualified for interference — a ruling that prompted online death threats against Boutin. Despite the threats, Boutin went on to win another bronze in the 1500m and silver in the 1000m. The Canadian Olympic Committee recognized Boutin’s ability and perseverance by naming her flag bearer in the closing ceremonies.
Team Canada won two more short track speed skating medals. Samuel Girard became the first Canadian to win Olympic gold in the men’s 1000m event and later was part of the Canadian team that won bronze in the men’s 5000m relay. Also on the relay team was Charles Hamelin, who won his fifth short track speed skating medal and tied the Canadian record for most career Olympic medals by a male athlete.
Sliding Sports (Bobsled and Luge)
For the first time in Olympic history, Canada won medals in luge. Alex Gough won bronze in women’s luge and then teamed up with Sam Edney, Justin Snith and Tristan Walker to win silver in the mixed doubles relay.
In bobsled, Canada won two medals. As at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, when Pierre Lueders and Dave MacEachern tied for first place with Italy, the Canadian team of Justin Kripps and Alex Kopacz shared the gold medal in the men’s two-man bobsled with Germany. In women’s bobsled, Kaillie Humphries won bronze, her third consecutive Olympic medal in the sport. Her brakewoman at the 2018 Games was Phylicia George, an Olympic sprinter and hurdler.
Canadians Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris won gold in mixed doubles curling, which debuted at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. In mixed doubles, each nation was represented by one man and one woman per team, and games were eight ends rather than the 10 ends of traditional four-person curling. Canada lost 9–6 in their opening game to Norway but were undefeated the rest of the tournament, winning the remaining six round robin games before getting revenge against Norway in a 8–4 win in the semifinals and then beating reigning world champion Switzerland 10–3 in the gold medal game.
For the first time in Olympic history, Canada did not earn a medal in either men’s or women’s curling. In men’s curling, Canada, skipped by Kevin Koe, lost 7–5 to Switzerland in the bronze medal game. In women’s curling, the Canadian team, skipped by Rachel Homan, had a round robin record of four wins and five losses and missed the playoffs altogether.
For the first time since the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Team Canada did not win Olympic gold in hockey; the women’s hockey team won silver and the men’s hockey team won bronze.
In women’s hockey, Team Canada went undefeated until the gold medal game but lost to the United States 3–2 in a shootout. It was the first time since the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano that Team Canada did not win gold in women’s hockey.
In men’s hockey, teams were unable to use National Hockey League players. The 2018 Winter Games were the first since 1994 in which NHL players did not participate. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman argued that Olympic participation in men’s hockey was too disruptive to the NHL’s regular season, even though the National Hockey Players’ Association was “extraordinarily disappointed and adamantly disagreed with the NHL’s shortsighted decision” not to compete in PyeongChang.
Team Canada therefore included Canadians who played professionally in European leagues (mostly in Russia and Switzerland) and in the American Hockey League. The Canadian squad went through Group A action with two wins and a shootout loss. Their record was good enough to directly advance to the quarterfinals, where Team Canada beat Finland 1–0. However, in the semi-finals, Canada was upset by Germany 4–3 before beating the Czech Republic 6–4 in the bronze medal game. (See also Canadian Olympic Hockey Teams.)
Team Canada Statistics
Team: 225 athletes (122 men and 103 women)
Medals: 29 (11 gold, 8 silver and 10 bronze)
Rank: 3rd (overall medal count)
|Curling (mixed doubles)||Gold|
|Figure Skating (ice dance)||Gold|
|Figure Skating (team)||Gold|
|Cassie Sharpe||Freestyle Skiing (women’s halfpipe)||Gold|
|Mikaël Kingsbury||Freestyle Skiing (men’s moguls)||Gold|
|Brady Leman||Freestyle Skiing (men’s ski cross)||Gold|
|Kelsey Serwa||Freestyle Skiing (women’s ski cross)||Gold|
|Ted-Jan Bloemen||Long Track Speed Skating (men’s 10000m)||Gold|
|Samuel Girard||Short Track Speed Skating (men’s 1000m)||Gold|
|Sébastien Toutant||Snowboarding (men’s big air)||Gold|
|Justine Dufour-Lapointe||Freestyle Skiing (women’s moguls)||Silver|
|Brittany Phelan||Freestyle Skiing (women’s ski cross)||Silver|
|Ice Hockey (women)||Silver|
|Luge (mixed team relay)||Silver|
|Ted-Jan Bloemen||Speed Skating (men’s 5000m)||Silver|
|Kim Boutin||Short Track Speed Skating (women’s 1000m)||Silver|
|Max Parrot||Snowboarding (men’s slopestyle)||Silver|
|Laurie Blouin||Snowboarding (women’s slopestyle)||Silver|
|Figure Skating (pairs)||Bronze|
|Kaetlyn Osmond||Figure Skating (women)||Bronze|
|Alex Beaulieu-Marchand||Freestyle Skiing (men’s slopestyle)||Bronze|
|Ice Hockey (men)||Bronze|
|Alex Gough||Luge (women)||Bronze|
|Short Track Speed Skating (men’s 5000m team relay)||Bronze|
|Kim Boutin||Short Track Speed Skating (women’s 500m)||Bronze|
|Kim Boutin||Short Track Speed Skating (women’s 1500m)||Bronze|
|Mark McMorris||Snowboarding (men’s slopestyle)||Bronze|