Olympic spirit

There is much to be proud about as Canadians. Our athletes continue to not only impress at the Olympic Games in Sochi, but they continue to earn a spot on the podium and Canada’s medal count is outstanding as well.

As of press time yesterday, Canada stood in eighth spot in the medal standings. So far Canada has garnered four gold medals, eight silvers and four bronze medals.

Amongst all of the victories, there have been many touching moments to come out of the Games as well.

Take Alex Bilodeau from Quebec for example. He won gold in mogul skiing last week – his second Olympic gold as he won in Vancouver back in 2010. Adding to his victory was his older brother Frédéric, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age. The closeness of this relationship continues to inspire the world and made Alex’s win that much more meaningful.

Even during Alex’s event, the camera often panned to his family, mainly Frédéric, who could be seen cheering his heart out. In an interview for the Olympic Games, Alex said Frédéric was his hero, but it is clear the feeling is mutual.

Then there are the three freestyle ski sisters, also from Quebec. Justine Dufour-Lapointe, Chloe Dufour-Lapointe and Maxime Dufour-Lapointe all competed in the women’s freestyle mogul event.

During interviews you could clearly sense a strong bond, strong support and equally strong competitiveness between the sisters. Justine and Chloe won gold and silver respectively while Maxime came in 12th place.

During the medal ceremony, Justine and Chloe held hands and their pride for Canada shone through.

Another story that has stood out during the Olympic Games is the one of Calgary speedskater Gilmore Junio who withdrew from the 1,000m race to allow teammate Denny Morrison to compete in his place.

During qualifying last month, Morrison slipped and fell allowing Junio, a specialist in the 500m event, to claim the spot for the 1,000m race. However, Junio made the decision to vacate his spot and give it to Morrison.

Morrison ultimately won a silver in that event and also went on to win bronze in the 1,500m event as well.

Another heartwarming moment during the Games was when Justin Wadsworth, head coach for the Canadian men’s cross-country ski team, rushed to the aid of a Russian athlete who fell and broke his ski on the course. The athlete could be seen struggling to finish and Wadsworth ran to his side and switched out the broken ski for a new one so that he could finish the race.

A frequent headline that has been seen on social media is that Canada, regardless of medal count, has already won the Olympics because of these great stories. We couldn’t agree more.