Of the 76 teen athletes named to Team Canada at Toronto 2015, 34 of them found their way onto the podium at least once. That’s 45% of Canada’s competing teens who won a Pan Am Games medal.
The storylines created by Canadian adolescent athletes have been countless. From Emily Overholt‘s 24-hour redemption story, to Ellie Black winning 5 medals in artistic gymnastics and Kia Nurse scoring 33 points in the final against the USA to secure Canada’s first Pan Am basketball gold medal then being selected as Closing Ceremony flag bearer, Canada’s teens proved that they are ready for the big stage.
Here are some of the big names that made a splash at TO2015, as well as a complete list of all Team Canada teens who reached the podium:
Overholt was brutally disqualified after swimming to a Canadian and Pan Am record after taking gold in the 400m individual medley. The 17 year-old was being interviewed about her race when her coach came over to show her that she had been disqualified. She was clearly crushed, and rightfully so.
Not only did Overholt swim to bronze later that night in the 4x200m freestyle relay, she then came back the next night and captured the hearts of Canadians with gold in the 400m freestyle. She leaves Toronto 2015 with a medal of each colour, having won silver in the women’s 200m freestyle as well.
Philippe Gagné (and Vincent Riendeau)
Another 17 year-old who left Toronto 2015 with multiple medals was Philippe Gagné, who dived his way onto the podium three times. He took home a silver in synchronized 10m platform with teen Vincent Riendeau (18), a silver in synchronized 3m springboard, and also bronze in the individual 3m springboard.
Ellie Black (and her teammates)
At 19 years of age, Ellie Black showed why she is one of the best in the world at artistic gymnastics. Black and her teammates Madison Copiak (16), Isabela Onyshko (17), Victoria-Kayen Woo (17) and Maegan Chant (18) took silver in the women’s all-around event. After winning silver in the team event, Black won four more individual medals: gold in all-around, gold in beam, gold in floor routine and bronze in vault. Woo also took a second medal of her own, winning bronze in the beam.
Patricia Bezzoubenko (and her teammates)
In rhythmic gymnastics Patricia Bezzoubenko was the one who made an impact, taking home a total of 4 medals. The 18 year-old won individual silver in the clubs and bronze in the individual all-around. She and teammates Lucinda Nowell (18 years-old), Vanessa Panov (15), Maya Kojevnikov (18), as well as non-teens Anjelika Reznik (20), Victoria Reznik (20) and Katrina Cameron (20) also won bronze medals in the group clubs/hoop and group ribbons events.
The youngest member of Canada’s synchronized swimming team is Jacqueline Simoneau at 18 years of age. She partnered with Olympian Karine Thomas in the duet and the pair swam to gold. Then the two of them joined the rest of Canada synchro swimmers and they took gold in the team event as well. Simoneau should be a leader on the team for years to come.
Noemie Thomas, Sydney Pickrem
A couple of teenage swimmers made a huge impact in the TO2015 pool. Noemie Thomas (19 years-old) swam to two silver medals at Pan Ams. First, she finished with a silver in the 100m butterfly, and then she was part of the 4x100m medley relay team that won silver. Thomas’ teammate Sydney Pickrem, also 19 years old, swam to two individual TO2015 medals. First she won silver in the 400m individual medley, and she followed that up with a bronze in the 200m individual medley.
Another teen who took over her sport and helped write the history books was Kia Nurse. With Canada facing the USA in the women’s basketball gold medal match, Nurse showed just how clutch she could be. She dropped a game-high 33 points to lead Canada to its first gold medal in basketball at the Pan Am Games, men’s or women’s. The next highest scorer on either team in Canada’s 81-73 win was the USA’s Breanna Stewart with 17.
After her sensational job carrying the women’s basketball team, it was announced that Nurse was chosen to carry the flag and lead Team Canada in to the Closing Ceremony.
Full List of Team Canada Teens who medalled at TO2015
|First Name||Last Name||Age at Start of Games||Sport/Discipline Combined|
|Vanessa||Panov||15||Gymnastics – Rhythmic|
|Madison||Copiak||16||Gymnastics – Artistic|
|Carmen||Whelan||16||Gymnastics – Rhythmic|
|Isabela||Onyshko||17||Gymnastics – Artistic|
|Victoria-Kayen||Woo||17||Gymnastics – Artistic|
|René||Cournoyer||18||Gymnastics – Artistic|
|Maegan||Chant||18||Gymnastics – Artistic|
|Patricia||Bezzoubenko||18||Gymnastics – Rhythmic|
|Maya||Kojevnikov||18||Gymnastics – Rhythmic|
|Camélie||Boisvenue||18||Karate – Do|
|Lucinda||Nowell||18||Gymnastics – Rhythmic|
|Hannah||Darling||19||Rugby – Sevens|
|Adam||Jamieson||19||Cycling – Track|
|Pierre-Luc||Poulin||19||Canoe/Kayak – Sprint|
|Sean||Mackinnon||19||Cycling – Road|Cycling – Track|
|Elsabeth||Black||19||Gymnastics – Artistic|