Games of the XXVIII Olympiad
The Olympic Games returned home to Greece as Canada sent a contingent of 265 athletes to compete in 27 of 32 sports. Canada sent a total of 133 women and 132 men, making it and China the only countries with more female athletes than male in the past three Olympic Games. Canadian athletes captured 12 medals in eight sports – three gold, six silver and three bronze medals.
In gymnastics, Kyle Shewfelt won the country’s first-ever medal in artistic gymnastics. His gold was the first such medal won by Canada in Athens. Fellow gymnast Karen Cockburn won a silver medal in trampoline, her second straight medal in the event (bronze in 2000). One of the most impressive recent Olympic performances came courtesy of kayaker Adam van Koeverden. He captured gold in the men’s K-1 500m and bronze in the K-1 1,000m – Canada’s first medals in either event. As well, kayaker Caroline Brunet reached the podium in her third consecutive Olympic Games, winning a bronze in the women’s K-1 500m. Her Olympic medal streak matches a Canadian record (with Lesley Thompson, rowing, and Phil Edwards, athletics). Cyclist Lori-Ann Muenzer became the first Canadian woman to win a medal in track, and it was a gold medal. Marié-Hélène Prémont added a silver medal in women’s mountain bike. Canada had a strong women’s wrestling team, participating in four new freestyle events added in 2004. Tonya Verbeek won silver in the women’s 55kg freestyle.
Canada continued its success in synchronized diving, as Émilie Heymans and Blythe Hartley to win bronze on the 10m platform. Alexandre Despatie won silver in men’s 3m springboard, Canada’s first men’s diver to ever reach the podium. In rowing, the men’s coxless four team – Cameron Baerg, Tom Herschmiller, Jake Wetzel, Barney Williams – captured silver. And in sailing, Ross MacDonald and Mike Wolfs won silver in the Star class.
Olympic Oath (athletes): Zoï Dimoschaki (swimming)
Olympic Oath (officials): Lazaros Voreaadis (basketball)
Olympic Oath (coaches): None
Lighting Olympic Cauldron: Nikolaos Kaklamanakis
Official Opening: The President of the Republic Konstantinos Stephanopoulos