Not every great Olympic performance results in a spot on the podium.
It’s true, medal counts are a handy way for fans to gauge how Team Canada is stacking up against other top winter nations. But for the athletes, who put in years of hard work and overcome all sorts of obstacles to reach the Games, a top-three finish isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all.
We’re right around the halfway point of PyeongChang 2018, so let’s take a look at some of the top non-medal-winning performances from Canadian athletes so far:
Dustin Cook, alpine skiing
At 29 years old, Cook is among the older first-time Olympians on Team Canada. But he was living the “better late than never” mantra in the super-G, blazing to a ninth-place finish in the 62-athlete field for Canada’s best result in any of the alpine skiing events thus far.
Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau, figure skating
Séguin and Bilodeau didn’t win gold as part of the team event, but being part of the cheer squad for that group proved to be greatly inspiring. In their Olympic debuts, they put together a clean free skate to finish among the top 10 overall in the pairs event.
Jordan Belchos, long track speed skating
Every athlete hopes to do their absolute best on the biggest stage. That’s what Belchos achieved in PyeongChang, his first Winter Games. His personal best of 12:59.51 in the 10,000m was good enough for fifth place and would have made the headlines—if not for a Canadian teammate named Ted-Jan Bloemen.
Ivanie Blondin, long track speed skating
The 27-year-old made big improvements from Sochi 2014 to PyeongChang 2018, finishing fifth in the 5000m and sixth in the 3000m. And with the mass start event yet to come, Blondin may be saving the best for last.
Philippe Marquis, freestyle skiing
It’s tough enough to navigate the moguls hill with healthy knees. Now imagine doing it with a torn knee ligament. But that’s what Marquis—who tore his right ACL in January, but delayed surgery until after the Games—did in PyeongChang. Remarkably, he made it all the way to the men’s final.
Marc-Antoine Gagnon, freestyle skiing
It can be tough to be teammates with one of the greatest all-time performers in your event. But while Mikael Kingsbury earned his golden moment in PyeongChang, let’s also send some kudos to Gagnon, who finished fourth in men’s moguls for the second straight Games.
Kimberley McRae, luge
Canada won its first two Olympic medals in luge at PyeongChang 2018, but just off the podium in the women’s singles event was McRae, who finished fifth for the second straight Games. At 25 years of age, she’s poised to be a medal contender at Beijing 2022.
Alex Harvey, cross-country skiing
The three-time Olympian put up a pair of top-10 finishes in PyeongChang—seventh in the 15km freestyle, eighth in the 30km skiathlon—in one of the Games’ most grueling sports, and one that often flies under the radar back in Canada.