Team Canada had a great weekend, filled with Tokyo 2020 qualifications, historic podium finishes and World Cup titles.
Keep reading to see what Xciting moments happened.
See you in Tokyo 👋
Mo Zhang and Eugene Wang booked their tickets to Tokyo at the 2020 ITTF North American Olympic Qualifiers this weekend. The duo will represent Canada in their respective individual table tennis events and play together in the first-ever Olympic mixed doubles competition.
Xciting Weekend on the Slopes
Mark McMorris became the most decorated Winter X Games athlete on Saturday after capturing gold in the men’s snowboard big air competition. He passed American Shaun White’s longstanding record of 18. The big air podium was a Canadian sweep, with Max Parrot winning silver, and Darcy Sharpe claiming bronze.
Parrot and McMorris reached the slopestyle podium, with Parrot winning gold and McMorris right behind him with silver. The Regina native now has a X Games medal count of 20 — the sixth most medals in X Games history.
The Moguls King, Mikäel Kingsbury, clinched his ninth consecutive Crystal Globe after reaching the top of the podium at the World Cup in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The 27-year-old earned his title after defeating British skier Thomas Gerken Schofield in the finals. With only two moguls competitions left in the season, Kingsbury holds a 300-plus point lead in the standings over his closest competitor Ikuma Horishima of Japan.
Ending the World Cup Season with a 💥
Canada’s speed skaters closed out the long track season with six medals at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Finals in Heerenveen, Netherlands.
Isabelle Weidemann led the way for Canada, capturing gold in the ladies 3000m on Saturday to secure a second place overall finish in the world standings. Laurent Dubreuil took three silvers at the World Cup finals in the men’s 500m and 1000m races to finish off his season third overall in both events. His teammates Graeme Fish and Ted-Jan Bloemen also reached the podium, winning silver and bronze respectively in the 5000m race.
While she may not have won a medal this weekend, Ivanie Blondin took home the overall mass start World Cup title. She also finished the season in third place in the women’s 3000m standings, just behind Weidemann.
On the slopes, Lewis Irving landed on the third step of the podium in Krasnoyarsk, Russia at the last Aerials World Cup of the season on Sunday. He put up a final score of 116.29 to capture bronze in the men’s aerials competition to claim his second World Cup medal of the season.
Historic First on 🇨🇦 Soil
The men’s rugby 7s team recorded their first top three finish on home soil at the Rugby 7s tournament in Vancouver, British Colombia. After narrowly missing the chance to play for gold, the Canadian squad won bronze after defeating South Africa 26-19.
🎶 Don’t Stop Believing 🎶
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@abiertognpseguros Champs🏆🏆 What an incredible 2 weeks with @katia_bondarenko2019 🙏🏻 So grateful to share the court with this unbelievably strong woman. Amazing job parter — Can’t wait to do it again ❤️ . . . . . . . #Champions #Tennis #internationalwomensday #IWD2020 #WTA #Mexico #Monterrey #Doubles
Canada’s Sharon Fichman and partner Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine captured the women’s doubles title at the Monterrey Open on Sunday. The duo defeated Japan’s Miyu Kato and Wang Yafan of China 4-6, 6-3, [10-7]. This is Fichman’s first title of the season and second of her comeback. The 27-year-old returned to the pro circuit in April 2018 after nearly two years away from competition.
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21.97… I think a lot of people would say getting your Olympic "A" cut would be impossible after 7 years retirement and only 6 months of training. ❌Been gone for too long. ❌Too old. ❌Not enough time to train. These are just excuses. No one can measure the size of your heart. If you have a dream, go for it with all your heart. Now to get ready for Trials. . Thank you @milorad_cavic for the photos and videos. Was great to see you on deck again brother. . . . #TeamFINIS #TYRproseries #wholeheartway #swimmerforlife #waterismystadium #swimming #swim
After 7 years of retirement, 36-year-old Brent Hayden swam an Olympic “A” time in the 50m freestyle to capture third place at the Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, Iowa. The three-time Olympian completed the race with an incredible time of 21.97 seconds.
Happy International Women’s Day! 👯♀️
March 8 was International Women’s Day and many Team Canada athletes took to social media to post some inspiring messages. Here are a few of them:
The Next 🏒 Generation
There was some big 👶 news in the hockey world this past week. Three-time Olympian Shannon Szabados announced that she was having her first child, due in August. Time to keep a watch on the 2038 Olympic hockey team?
Retired three-time Olympian Gillian Apps and her partner, Meghan Duggan (also a three-time Olympian, but for Team USA), had the birth of their first child. This isn’t the first Canadian-American hockey baby. Caroline Ouellette and American Julie Chu welcomed their first child in November 2017, and have another one on the way!