After years of competition and thousands of hours spent training, there comes a time for athletes to hang up their skis, shoes, skates, and sticks as they step away from a monumental part of their lives.
Ending on a high note, as these Team Canada athletes did, can make retirement a little easier to walk into when it’s time to say one final goodbye to their sport.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (2018)
After 22 years of skating together, Virtue and Moir had their final competitive performance at PyeongChang 2018. Having finished second twice at Sochi 2014, the pair had a golden comeback four years later, winning gold in the team and ice dance events to become the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history.
Alex Gough (2018)
Gough came so close to making history at Sochi 2014, but instead had the disappointment of two fourth place finishes to drive her forward. At PyeongChang 2018, she finally wrote her name into the Canadian record books. A bronze medal in the women’s singles event made her the country’s first Olympic medallist in luge. Two days later, she captured silver with her relay teammates to round off her career.
Roseline Filion (2016)
The three-time Olympian finished her career with a second straight Olympic bronze medal with longtime diving partner Meaghan Benfeito, overcoming a broken foot suffered in December 2015 to do so. Sitting fifth heading into their final dive, the duo saved their best for last to reach the podium in the 10m synchro event at Rio 2016.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton (2016)
Theisen-Eaton had won silver at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, so it was surprising to find her in sixth place after the first day of heptathlon competition at Rio 2016. But with a couple of clutch performances on day two, she leapfrogged her opponents to end her career on the podium, her bronze was Canada’s first Olympic medal won by a woman in a combined event.
Alex Harvey (2019)
In the last race of his illustrious cross-country skiing career, Harvey captured a World Cup silver in the 15km freestyle pursuit. It couldn’t have come in a better place – on home soil in Quebec City, as he had one last goodbye on the podium to the country and the sport.
Brent Hayden (2012)
The Canadian swimmer captured a long awaited Olympic bronze at the London 2012 games in his final 100m freestyle race, Canada’s first ever Olympic medal in the event.
Clara Hughes (2010)
A six-time Olympic medallist, Clara Hughes closed out her illustrious speed skating career on home soil at the 2010 Vancouver Games, where she won bronze in the 5000m.
Alexandre Bilodeau (2014)
Alex Bilodeau ended his Olympic career on top, becoming the first freestyle skier to successfully defend his title.
Jennifer Heil (2011)
The Olympic champion wrapped-up a prolific freestyle skiing career by grabbing 2011 World Championship gold in both the single and dual mogul events.