Maggie Mac Neil gasps at the result after winning goldCOC/Darren Calabrese
COC/Darren Calabrese

Great Team Canada performances (so far) at Tokyo 2020

Good things come to those who wait — and it’s been a long wait for Tokyo 2020.

After a one-year delay, Team Canada kicked off the Olympic Games with a bang — swimming, lifting, rowing, and playing their way to the podium and record books. It seems the wait was worth it.

At the midway mark of the Games, let’s take a look at some of Team Canada’s impressive accomplishments in Tokyo so far — with even more to come.

Penny being Penny

Penny Oleksiak reacts with a smile
Canadian swimmer Penny Oleksiak competes in the Women’s 200m Freestyle during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (Mark Blinch/COC)

Penny Oleksiak became Canada’s all-time most decorated summer Olympian when she won bronze in the women’s 200m freestyle, adding to the silver she had already won in the 4x100m freestyle relay. Those two medals combined with the four she won at Rio 2016 tie her for the most Olympic medals won by a Canadian athlete in any sport.

READ: Oleksiak becomes Canada’s all-time most decorated summer Olympian

Oleksiak came close to making more history when she, along with Summer McIntoshRebecca Smith, and Kayla Sanchez, finished fourth in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay, doing so in a Canadian record time of 7:43.77. She had another record-breaking fourth-place finish in the women’s 100m freestyle, breaking her own Canadian best time of 52.59 seconds. You could say that her Instagram handle @typicalpen is incredibly apt.

History at one end of the pool…

Oleksiak hasn’t been the only Canadian making waves in Tokyo.

Oleksiak teamed up with Kayla SanchezMargaret Mac Neil and Rebecca Smith to win silver in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay. Taylor Ruck also received a medal for swimming with the team in the heats.

READ: Team Canada wins first medal of Tokyo 2020 in swimming

The following day, Mac Neil won Canada’s first gold medal of these Games, winning the 100m butterfly in a Canadian and Americas record time of 55.59 seconds.

READ: Mac Neil wins Canada’s first gold of Tokyo 2020 in 100m butterfly

Kylie Masse smiles in the pool
Canadian swimmer Kylie Masse celebrates after winning silver in the Women’s 200m Backstroke finals during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Saturday, July 31, 2021. (COC/Leah Hennel)

Kylie Masse won her first medal of Tokyo 2020 by finishing second in the 100m backstroke, trailing only Australian Kaylee McKeown who set an Olympic record with her finish. Masse won another silver in the women’s 200m backstroke with a time of 2:05.42 – taking half a second off her own national record.

READ: Masse wins 100m backstroke silver at Tokyo 2020
READ: Masse wins second backstroke silver of Tokyo 2020

14-year-old Summer McIntosh placed fourth in the women’s 400m freestyle, lowering the Canadian record she had set a day earlier to 4:02.42.

Canada’s men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team, featuring Brent HaydenJoshua LiendoYuri Kisil, and Markus Thormeyer, just missed out on a medal, placing fourth. They did, however, break the national record that had stood for 13 years with a time of 3:10.82.

… and history at the other end of the pool

Canadian divers Jennifer Abel (Right) and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu react after winning silver in the women’s three-metre synchronized springboard diving during the Tokyo Olympics in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday, July 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Frank Gunn

For the first time since Beijing 2008, Team Canada stood on the second step of the podium in diving. Jennifer Abel, who finished fourth in both of her events at Rio 2016, and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu teamed up to win silver in the women’s 3m synchro springboard event.

READ: Abel & Citrini-Beaulieu win silver in 3m synchro diving

On the men’s side, Vincent Riendeau and Nathan Zsombor-Murray were the first Canadian duo to qualify for the men’s 10m synchro since Athens 2004. They finished fifth overall, matching Canada’s best ever result in the event.

Representing a rowing legacy

Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens react after their bronze medal win
Canada’s Caileigh Filmer (left) and Hillary Janssens react after their bronze medal win in the women’s pair rowing final event during the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Thursday, July 29, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Rowers Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens won Canada’s first medal in the women’s pair since Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle at Barcelona 1992, claiming bronze with a time of 6:52.10. Filmer and Janssens qualified for the final by rowing a Canadian best ever time of 6:49.46 in the semifinal.

READ: Filmer & Janssens wins Canada’s first rowing medal of Tokyo 2020

Women's eight rowing team celebrates after winning gold
Lisa Roman, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Andrea Proske, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys and Kristen Kit of Canada celebrate after winning the gold medal in the women’s rowing eight final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The following day, Canada won their first gold in the women’s eight since Barcelona 1992 and Canada’s first gold in any women’s rowing event since the aforementioned McBean and Heddle won the double sculls at Atlanta 1996. The crew rowed to a Canadian best ever time of 5:53.73 in the repechage to advance to the final where they clocked in at 5:59.13.

Afterwards, the crew noted that they had Heddle, who had passed away in January after a battle with cancer, on their minds, especially when they heard a rumble of thunder just before the start and took it as a sign that she was with them in their pursuit of gold.

READ: Team Canada women’s eight wins rowing gold at Tokyo 2020

Charron lifts her way to gold

Maude Charon reacts after her lift
Canadian weightlifter Maude Charron reacts after winning gold in the Women’s 64kg category during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (COC/Stephen Hosier)

Lifting a total of 236kg, Maude Charron won gold in the 64kg weight class. Charron joins Christine Girard, who won gold at London 2012, as the only other Canadian woman to stand atop the Olympic weightlifting podium.

READ: Charron wins Canada’s second ever weightlifting gold at Tokyo 2020

After the new Olympic champion revealed what she couldn’t wait to eat now that she didn’t have to worry about weigh-in, Air Canada was happy to fulfill her wishes as she got set to fly home.

Multiple medals in judo’s homeland

Jessica Klimkait with two thumbs up after her victory
Canadian Jessica Klimkait defeats Kaja Kajzer of Slovenia to win the bronze medal in judo during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Monday, July 26, 2021. (COC/Stephen Hosier)

Jessica Klimkait took home the bronze in the women’s 57kg event, becoming the first female Canadian judoka to win an Olympic medal. Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard followed up by claiming a bronze medal in the women’s 63kg event.

READ: Klimkait becomes Canada’s first female Olympic judo medallist
READ: Beauchemin-Pinard’s step up to 63kg has her stepping onto Tokyo 2020 podium

It was only fitting that the first Olympic Games at which Canada won multiple judo medals would have the competition take place at the historic Nippon Budoken, the site of the first Olympic judo competition at Tokyo 1964 – and also where Doug Rogers won Canada’s first ever medal in the sport.

Canada wins first Olympic softball medal

Softball players cheering in a huddle
Canada celebrates after winning the bronze medal in softball against Mexico during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. (COC/Mark Blinch)

Softball itself was making history in Tokyo, returning to the Olympic Games for the first time since Beijing 2008. Team Canada finished fourth at those Games — its best result prior to Tokyo — and featured Danielle LawrieKaleigh RafterLauren Regula and Jenn Salling, all of whom suited up this year. Canada finished 3-2 in the opening round and went on to defeat Mexico 3-2 in the bronze medal game.

READ: Tokyo 2020 softball bronze “a dream come true” for Team Canada

Woods finishes fifth in road race

Michael Woods cycling ahead of the other competitors
Michael Woods, of Canada, competes in the men’s cycling road race at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Oyama, Japan. (Pool Photo via AP/Tim de Waele)

Michael Woods just missed the podium in the men’s road race, finishing fifth in the cycling event that lasted more than six hours and 234km. Woods’ fifth-place finish – which ended in a sprint at the finish line – was Canada’s second best ever performance, trailing only Steve Bauer‘s silver at Los Angeles 1984. On Day 1, it delivered Team Canada an exciting start to Tokyo 2020

Canadians, skateboarding make debut

Annie Guglia smiles in skateboarding gear
Canadian skateboarder Annie Guglia competes during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Monday, July 26, 2021. (COC/Mark Blinch)

Skateboarding made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and so did Team Canada’s Matt Berger and Micky Papa on the men’s side while Annie Guglia competed in the women’s event. Papa finished 10th in the combined rankings of the heats while Berger finished 20th. Guglia would finish 19th as the sport engaged a new generation of Olympic fans.

Zhang breaks through in table tennis

Zhang Mo hits the ball in a table tennis match
Canada’s Zhang Mo competes during the table tennis women’s singles third round match against Germany’s Petrissa Solja at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Competing in her fourth Olympic Games, Mo Zhang reached the Round of 16, matching Canada’s best ever Olympic result in the women’s singles table tennis event. She had finished 33rd at both Rio 2016 and London 2012.

Fifth for foil fencers

Eleanor Harvey competing against France in fencing
Eleanor Harvey of Canada, left, and Pauline Ranvier of France compete in the women’s individual Foil round of 32 competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Chiba, Japan. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

With a 45-31 win over Japan in the 5-8 classification round, the women’s foil team of Alanna GoldieJessica GuoEleanor Harvey and Kelleigh Ryan finished fifth, Canada’s best ever Olympic result in that fencing event.

Li matches best Canadian badminton result

Michelle Li playing badminton
Canadian badminton player Michelle Li plays against Martina Repiska of Slovakia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (COC/Leah Hennel)

Playing in her third Olympic Games, Michelle Li reached the Round of 16 in women’s singles badminton before falling to third-ranked Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. Li matched Canada’s best ever Olympic result in the event and also bested her 17th-place finishes at Rio 2016 and London 2012.

A best for BMX

Drew Mechielsen competes in the BMX Cycling racing final
Canadian BMX rider Drew Mechielsen competes in the BMX Cycling racing final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday, July 30, 2021. (COC/Mark Blinch)

Making her Olympic debut, Drew Mechielsen earned a spot in the BMX final where she finished eighth – a Canadian best ever performance.