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PyeongChang-2018

Canada's best medal haul

Canada did not figure into the medals on the final day of competition at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, but its athletes were all smiles Sunday as they marched in the closing ceremony en masse to the country's best-ever showing at a Winter Games.

Canadians won a record 29 medals in Pyeongchang (11 gold, eight silver, 10 bronze), finishing behind only powerhouses Norway (39) and Germany (31) in the overall standings. Canada also finished third in gold medals, with Norway and Germany both topping the podium 14 times.

The Canadian Press predicted 29 medals going into the South Korean Games with a breakdown of nine gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze.

The Canadian Olympians were represented at the closing ceremony by flag-bearer Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que. The 23-year-old short-track speedskater won a silver and two bronze in an impressive Olympic debut.

Canada had a chance to add to its record medal haul in four-man bobsled, as the sled piloted by Justin Kripps of Summerland, B.C., was in fourth place heading into Sunday's final two runs.

Despite posting the best start times in each heat, Kripps's sled finished sixth with a four-run time of three minutes 16.69 seconds.

The German sled piloted by Francesco Friedrich, who tied Kripps for gold in the two-man bobsled competition, won the four-man in 3:15.85.

South Korea's Won Yunjong and Germany's Nico Walther tied for silver in 3:16.38.

"Really proud of the crew," said Kripps, whose team included Alex Kopacz of London, Ont., his brakeman from the two-man competition, plus Jesse Lumsden of Burlington, Ont., and Ottawa's Seyi Smith. "They did their job extremely well. I thought I drove well, just little mistakes."

Hamilton's Nick Poloniato, Cam Stones of Whitby, Ont., London's Josh Kirkpatrick and Ben Coakwell of Moose Jaw, Sask., were 12th in 3:17.81.

Chris Spring of Priddis, Alta., Calgary's Lascelles Brown, and the Edmonton duo of Bryan Barnett and Neville Wright wound up 16th in 3:17.96.

The race marked the end of the line for both Lumsden, a former CFL player who took up bobsled ahead of the 2010 Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., and Brown, who competed at every Olympics since 2002.

"It's going to take a while for it to sink in, but the goal when I came back was to help the team get on the podium," said Lumsden, who took two years off ahead of Pyeongchang before returning to the national team in 2016. "It would be nice to have a medal to hang around my neck."

The only other event Sunday featuring Canadian athletes was the women's 30-kilometre cross-country ski mass start. Emily Nishikawa was the top Canadian in 30th in the event won by Norwegian legend Marit Bjoergen.

It was a bit surprising that no other Canadian athletes were in action on a day that also boasted the women's curling and men's hockey final. But the Canadian men's hockey team was upset by Germany in the semifinals, while Ottawa's Rachel Homan was eliminated in the preliminary round of the women's curling competition.

The upstart Germans pushed a team of Russians competing under the Olympic flag to the brink, finally losing 4-3 in overtime and claiming an unexpected silver. Canada rebounded for bronze with a 6-4 win over the Czech Republic on Saturday.

Sweden beat South Korea 8-3 in the women's curling final, while Canada finished the Games without a medal in team curling.

Another medal would have just been added value for the Canadians, who surpassed the previous high of 26 overall medals won at the 2010 Games.

Canada was represented by a strong representation from its 225 athletes, its largest representation at a Winter Games, at the closing ceremony. The throng of Canadian athletes, dressed in red Canadian jackets and tuques were among the first to enter Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, with several smiling, dancing or holding up a medal for all to see. Figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond hopped up on another athletes's shoulders to get a better view of the proceedings.

While Canada set a national record for combined medals at a Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, eclipsing the 26 won at home at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, it did not match the 14 gold Canada won in Vancouver.



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Flag bearer announced

Kim Boutin's first Olympics were a roller-coaster ride of the highest of highs, and of frightening lows.

Sunday, the short-track speedskater will put a punctuation mark on her Pyeongchang Games when she carries Canada's flag into the closing ceremonies.

"I have so much emotion so I can't put the word on which emotion, it was a mix of scared and angry and happy," Boutin said in summing up her Games.

The 23-year-old from Sherbrooke, Que., carried on Canada's strong tradition in short-track speedskating, racing to three medals in Pyeongchang -- silver in the 1,000 metres, and bronze in both the 500 and 1,500.

But she was also the target of online vitriol and death threats after South Korean star Minjeong Choi was disqualified in the 500. Some South Korean fans blamed Boutin.

"At one moment I was really scared for my security, but all the people around told me that I didn't have to (worry), everything was in control," Boutin said. "I was trying to be happy about my medal, because it was a big challenge in the 500, I still continued to beat my fear (of) the speed, in this distance especially.

"So that was a surprise for me to be in the final, and I was trying to think that I really deserved this medal."

Then came heartbreak for Boutin and her teammates in the 3,000-metre relay. They were celebrating bronze, only to be disqualified moments later. Officials ruled Boutin had impeded the South Korean and Chinese skaters when they were racing to the finish line. Boutin had been looking for her teammate waiting to be tagged into the race.

"In our sport it happens, and I think my emotion was really rough on me, because it was my disqualification," she said at a Canadian Olympic Committee news conference Saturday. "I was maybe sad for my teammates because I had already jumped on the podium, and they didn't."

Boutin will lead Canada's largest - 225 athletes - and most successful team in winter Olympic history into Pyeongchang Stadium.



Bronze in men's hockey

Canada's men's hockey team has won the bronze medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Games with a 6-4 victory over the Czech Republic.

Team Canada's victory comes a day after a semifinal loss to Germany which ended its bid for a third-straight Olympic title.

Andrew Ebbett and Chris Kelly scored twice with Derek Roy and Wojtek Wolski also chipping in for the Canadians, who were playing these Games without NHL talent.

Roman Cervenka struck twice while Martin Ruzicka and Jan Kovar had the other goals for the Czech Republic, which was blanked 3-0 by the Russian entry in the other semifinal.

The gold medal game goes Sunday.





'Inexcusable' actions

Canadian ski-cross Olympian Dave Duncan, his wife, and his coach are offering apologies after they were arrested in Pyeongchang for allegedly stealing a vehicle and drunk driving.

Duncan, his wife Maja Duncan, and manager Willy Raine were released from police custody late Saturday.

They had been arrested in the early hours of the day for allegedly stealing a Hummer vehicle that had been left idling and driving it to the athletes’ village.

The Canadian Olympic Committee released a statement Saturday to say while Korean police have released the three, they are disappointed in their team members’ actions.

“We expect our athletes and team members to conduct themselves responsibly and in keeping with our Canadian and Olympic values,” the statement read. “We are deeply disappointed in the behaviours of these individuals. All team members are expected to respect the laws of South Korea and all places we compete in around the world.”

The stolen vehicle was found an hour after being taken. Police allege Raine had been at the wheel, with Duncan and his wife in the back seat. One of the people in the vehicle was passed out when police arrived, the Canadian Press reports.

Police allege Raine had a blood alcohol level of 0.16 per cent. The legal limit in South Korea is 0.05 per cent.

In a statement, Duncan and his wife said they were “deeply” sorry.

“We engaged in behaviour that demonstrated poor judgement and was not up to the standards expected of us as Members of the Canadian Olympic Team or as Canadians,” they said.

Raine also apologized for his “inexcusable” actions.

“Words are not enough to express how sorry I am. I have let my teammates, friends and my family down. I would also like to apologize to the owner of the vehicle that was involved,” he said.

It is not clear whether charges will still be laid. Drunk driving convictions in South Korea can result in imprisonment up to three years, or a large fine.



More PyeongChang 2018 articles

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PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count
CountryGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Norway14141139
2Germany1410731
3Canada1181029
4United States98623
5Netherlands86620
6South Korea58417
7Olympic Athlete
from Russia
26917
8Switzerland56415
9France54615
10Sweden76114





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