Every Olympic cycle brings a brand new crop of athletes looking to make their mark for Canada, and this year is no different.
Some have already made their breakthrough on the Olympic stage at PyeongChang 2018, while others are still looking to collect their first experience at these Winter Games. But if all goes according to plan, we’ll be seeing many of these faces wearing the red and white again at Beijing 2022 and beyond.
Here’s a look at a few of the young, first-time Olympians suiting up for Canada in PyeongChang:
Laurie Blouin – snowboard
The 21-year-old from Quebec City burst onto the scene at last year’s FIS World Championships, capturing gold in slopestyle. Then, in PyeongChang, she overcame a scary fall in training and windy conditions during her run to claim a silver medal in slopestyle. How much higher can this youngster go?
Kim Boutin – short track speed skating
She came into PyeongChang somewhat under the radar, with much of the focus being on veteran teammate Marianne St-Gelais. But the 23-year-old newcomer from Sherbrooke, Quebec put on a show in her first Olympic final, racing to a bronze medal in the 500m event. She’s got three more events yet to go—and she’s definitely on the radar now.
Samuel Girard – short track speed skating
He made the final in the men’s 1500m and just missed the podium, finishing in fourth place. But the 21-year-old from Ferland-et-Boilleau, Quebec has more work left to do, as he’s set to also compete in the 1000m event and the 5000m team relay event, alongside the highly decorated Charles Hamelin.
Brooke Apshkrum – luge
Apshkrum couldn’t have possibly gotten a more inspirational introduction to the Winter Games, as she got to witness teammate Alex Gough finally win Canada’s first-ever medal in the sport of luge, a bronze. For her part, the 18-year-old from Calgary finished a not-too-shabby 13th in the women’s singles event—could she make her own history four years from now?
Elisabeth Vathje – skeleton
The 23-year-old from Calgary won a silver in her first-ever World Cup race, during the 2014-15 season, and has been racking up the World Cup podiums since then. She’s the youngest of Canada’s six skeleton racers in PyeongChang, but could contend for the country’s first medal in the event since Vancouver 2010.
Ben Donnelly – long track speed skating
He was a recipient of Skating Canada’s Rising Star Award in 2016, when he helped Canada to a bronze in the team pursuit at the ISU World Single Distances Championship. Now, the 21-year-old from Ajax, Ontario could see his star rise even higher, as he’ll be looking to help Canada hit the podium in the men’s team pursuit at PyeongChang.
Sarah Nurse – ice hockey
You might know the Nurse name through Sarah’s cousins, basketball star Kia and fellow hockey player Darnell. But the 23-year-old forward from Hamilton is coming into an Olympic team stocked with firepower and Olympic pedigree, with Canada having won four straight gold medals. Could she help them earn a fifth?
Elizabeth Hosking – snowboard
Hosking is the youngest member of Team Canada in PyeongChang, at just 16 years old. But she’s not new to international competition, having entered her first World Snowboard Tour event at age 10. She finished 19th in the women’s half-pipe event in PyeongChang, but at this rate, she has plenty of bright moments yet to come.