Beijing Olympics Day 16: Isabelle Weidemann named Canada’s flag-bearer; Canada No. 3 in medals


The latest Olympics news from Beijing and around the world on Day 16. Web links to longer stories if available:

8pm: Here’s a look at Team Canada’s upcoming events:

  • The following teams are competing for Canada in the third heat of the 4-man bobsleigh event starting at 8:30 pm ET. Starting 3rd: Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Benjamin Coakwell. Starting 11th: Christopher Spring, Cody Sorensen, Samuel Giguere and Mike Evelyn. Starting 21st: Taylor Austin, Daniel Sunderland, Chris Patrician, and Jay Dearborn.
  • Katherine Stewart-Jones, Dahria Beatty, Cendrine Browne and Laura Leclair will be competing in the women’s 30km mass start cross-country skiing event at 10 pm ET.

6:50pm: Speedskater Isabelle Weidemann was named Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremonies of Beijing’s Winter Olympics on Sunday. The 26-year-old from Ottawa won a complete set of medals in Beijing.

“It’s such an honor to be carrying the Canadian flag in the closing ceremony,” she said in a statement. “It’s just been a crazy end to such an unbelievable week. I’m so proud to be a member of this team.”

Weidemann became the second Canadian long-track speedskater to win more than two medals at a single Winter Games.

Cindy Klassen won five medals in 2006.

6:10 p.m.: It has been the stock procedure for two straight Olympics now. This month in the Chinese capital, as in Tokyo last summer, Canada brought its best athletes across an ocean but it wouldn’t touch a medal projection with a 10-foot pole.

If the pandemic brought too much unpredictability for informed forecasting, Canada weathered it well enough. Six months after leaving Japan with the nation’s largest Summer Olympic medal haul in a non-boycotted Games, the team in the maple leaf was heading into Sunday’s final day of competition here with 25 medals, third behind Norway and Russia. If that holds up, it will be fourth time in the past five Winter Olympics that Canada has ranked third in the hardware count — five of five if you disqualify Russia for cheating in Sochi. That’s an awfully consistent presence on the medal-haul podium.

But as much as you can make the case the lack of pre-Games expectation has been good for Canada’s performance, let’s be clear: It’s not a tradition that can continue indefinitely.

Dave Feschuk: Canada is No. 3 in medals in Beijing. That’s good, but it’s not good enough

2:30 pm: The provenance of pairs figure skating in China reaches back to a frozen river in the bone-chillingly cold northern city of Harbin.

It was there that a man taught himself the basic principles of the discipline, by watching videos and reading contraband Western skating magazines, but only after first teaching himself how to read English.

His name was Yao Bin and he is a legend. With his partner Luan Bo, he finished last at the 1984 Olympics.

Rosie DiManno: Sui Wenjing and Han Cong win Olympic pairs gold in magnificent finish to tumultuous figure skating fortnight

1:50 p.m.: There are lasting memories from every Olympic Games. The majority are inspiring and worth celebrating.

But some are darker. The heartbreak of falling short after dedicating so much of your life to one moment. Confronting the unknown after a four-year Olympic cycle.

The Beijing Games have provided a few such reminders.

Previously: China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong win Olympic figure skating pairs gold; Speedskater Isabelle Weidemann named Canada’s flag-bearer.

Click here for a full write-up of what you missed yesterday at the Beijing Olympics.

For full coverage of the Beijing Olympics, click here.

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