Canadian athletes record lowest medals for host country in history
By Davie Wong, Sports Reporter
Disappointment is the only word I can think of when I look back at this year’s summer Olympics. It was supposed to be our year, but what happened? We had the worst performance of any host country in the history of the Olympics.
A total 11 medals—5 silver, 6 bronze—was all Canada could place in that very expensive display case in Montreal. Greg Joy took silver in the men’s high jump, John Wood took silver in men’s C-1 500m, Michel Vaillancourt took silver in the individual equestrian show jumping, and the men’s swimming team took silver in the 4 x 100 Medley Relay.
If no one else did, at least the women’s swim team brought their game to the Olympics. Nancy Garapick took bronze in both the 100 and 200-meter backstroke, while Shannon Smith took bronze in the 400-meter freestyle. Becky Smith took bronze in the 400m individual medley while fellow teammate Cheryl Gibson took silver. The 4 x 100 freestyle relay team took bronze along with the 4 x 100 Medley relay team.
When it came to team competitions however, Canada looked out of place. In soccer Canada failed to pick up a win out of group stages and was eliminated from the competition. In handball Canada also failed to pick up a single win out of 5 group stage games. The field hockey team found some success in their venture; they won one game out of five group stage matches and were eliminated. Both the men and women’s volleyball teams found little success in their Olympics—neither were able to pick up a win in their matches. The water polo team capped off a disappointing tournament by finishing ranked ninth out 0f twelfth.
Only the men’s basketball team found a modicum of success. They came out of group stages 4-1 only to fall to the United States in the semi-finals, and then to the Soviet Union in the bronze medal match.
For the first time in the nation’s history, we hosted the legendary collection of competitions known as the Olympics. As first times go, I don’t think it could have been much worse. Sure we could not have won any medals at all, but would that be all that worse than the abysmal amount that we did win? If these Olympic games sent any sort of message, it’s that Canada has a very long way to go in terms of summer games.