With over 11,000 athletes competing in Rio, simple math tells us the vast majority will be leaving without an Olympic medal.
But reaching the podium isn’t the only way to gauge an athlete’s success on the Olympic stage. Competitors from all over the world have stepped up in Rio to post personal bests and set new national records.
So let’s take a look at some Canadians who put in big-time (but non-medal-winning) performances in the first week of competition in Rio.
Eleanor Harvey (Fencing)
Related: Harvey upsets world number one
In her first Olympics, the 21-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario finished seventh in the women’s individual foil, the best-ever result for a Canadian fencer. Even better? Harvey knocked off world No. 1 Arriana Errigo of Italy along the way.
Antoine Bouchard (Judo)
The 21-year-old from Jonquière, Quebec was an upset machine in the 66kg division, earning victories over No. 2-ranked Tumurkhuleg Davaadorj of Mongolia and No. 3-ranked Mikhail Pulyaev of Russia. Bouchard fell just short of a bronze medal, ultimately finishing in fifth place.
Ellie Black (Artistic Gymnastics)
While the world was swooning over American Simone Biles in the women’s individual all-around final, Black quietly notched the best-ever finish for a Canadian in the event, fifth place. The 20-year-old from Halifax had also helped Canada to fifth place in the team final back at London 2012.
Evan Dunfee (Athletics)
Dunfee won gold in the men’s 20km race walk at last year’s Pan American Games, coming into these Games with high hopes. The 25-year-old finished 10th in the event in Rio, his first Olympics, but is now looking ahead to next week’s 50km event.
Santo Condorelli (Swimming)
Women have ruled the pool for Canada this week, but 21-year-old Condorelli nearly added to the nation’s medal haul, finishing just 3/100ths of a second off the podium in the men’s 100m freestyle final.
Arthur Biyarslanov (Boxing)
Biyarslanov won his opening match in the light welterweight 64kg division, and will compete in a Round of 16 bout on Sunday. The 21-year-old Olympic debutante, who won gold at last summer’s Pan American Games, is looking to win Canada’s first boxing medal since Atlanta 1996.
Sarah Pavan, Heather Bansley, Jamie Broder, Kristina Valjas (Beach Volleyball)
The two women’s beach volleyball teams (Pavan/Bansley and Broder/Valjas) came through on Copacabana Beach and will face off with each other in the Round of 16 on Saturday, guaranteeing Canada an entrant in the quarterfinals. On the men’s side, Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk are also into the Round of 16.