Women's soccer team runs onto field in celebrationTHE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Team Canada Rewind: Tokyo 2020 athletes relive their most memorable moments of the Games

At Tokyo 2020, there were many memorable moments featuring Team Canada athletes, from the first medals won in the pool to a historic gold in women’s soccer. Here’s how the athletes themselves recalled many of those moments just hours after they competed and had an experience of a lifetime.

Swimming to the first (of six!) medals in the pool

Team Canada equalled its Rio 2016 total with six medals in swimming, one of the country’s best-ever hauls at a single Olympic Games. The quartet of Kayla Sanchez, Maggie Mac Neil, Rebecca Smith and Penny Oleksiak kicked it off by winning silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay, which was also Canada’s first medal of Tokyo 2020.

READ: Swimmers make Tokyo 2020 a Games to remember for Canada
READ: Team Canada wins first medal of Tokyo 2020 in swimming

Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu in sync for silver

The unbreakable bond of Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu was on front row display at Tokyo 2020. Their heartwarming reaction to winning silver was one of the great moments Summer Games.

READ: Abel & Citrini-Beaulieu win silver in 3m synchro diving
READ: Jennifer Abel and Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu, propelled by team strength

Maggie Mac Neil swims to Canada’s first gold of the Games

Maggie Mac Neil caught the attention of the world when she defeated Rio 2016 Olympic champion Sarah Sjöström for gold in the 100m butterfly at the 2019 FINA World Championships. She proved that was no fluke when she won gold in the same event at Tokyo 2020.

READ: Mac Neil wins Canada’s first gold of Tokyo 2020 in 100m butterfly
READ: Mac Neil getting used to a new title: Olympic champion

Team Canada wins first Olympic medal in softball

After a 13-year absence, softball made its return to the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020. Team veterans Jenn Salling and Larissa Franklin recall how Team Canada narrowly beat out Mexico 3-2 to earn bronze.

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

Judoka Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard lands on the podium

Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard decided to move up a weight class for Tokyo 2020, citing an improvement both in competition and overall wellness. It proved to be the right decision as she won a bronze medal in the 63kg event.

READ: Beauchemin-Pinard’s step up to 63kg has her stepping onto Tokyo 2020 podium
READ: Beauchemin-Pinard wins Canada’s second judo medal of Tokyo 2020

Beast Maude can’t be beat

Putting the Maude in #BeastMaude, Maude Charron became just the second Canadian woman to win an Olympic weightlifting medal. Her gold in the 64kg event was the first weightlifting medal for Canada since London 2012.

READ: Charron’s athletic odyssey pays off with weightlifting gold
READ: Charron wins Canada’s second ever weightlifting gold at Tokyo 2020

Rowing together to the podium

Years of uncertainty and injury finally paid off for the rowing pair of Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens. The duo not only won bronze, but also broke a Canadian record in the semifinal. 

READ: Fitness and friendship propel Filmer and Janssens to the podium
READ: Filmer & Janssens win Canada’s first rowing medal of Tokyo 2020

The women’s eight become Olympic champions

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one in the women’s eight had raced internationally for about two years before landing in Tokyo. That didn’t stop the women’s rowing eight (Lisa Roman, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Andrea Proske, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys, Kristen Kit) from picking up gold after rowing a Canadian best-ever time of 5:53.73 in the repechage.

READ: Team Canada women’s eight wins rowing gold at Tokyo 2020
READ: Belief in the crew has Canadian women’s eight celebrating Tokyo 2020 gold

Ellie Black gives it her all

Canada’s most successful female artistic gymnast added another impressive result to her resumé. Ellie Black may have ended up just short of the podium in Tokyo, finishing fourth in the balance beam final, but that came after she had suffered an ankle injury earlier in the Games. A true story of perseverance.

READ: Black proud of best-ever Canadian finish at Tokyo 2020

Becoming the World’s Greatest Athlete

There were a long list of worthy candidates for Canada’s flag bearer in the closing ceremony, but owning the unofficial title of World’s Greatest Athlete may have been the deciding factor.

Damian Warner became Canada’s first ever Olympic champion in decathlon and broke the Olympic record on his way to the podium.

READ: Warner makes history as Canada’s first Olympic decathlon champion
READ: Living the dream: Damian Warner, Olympic decathlon champion

A historic moment for women’s soccer

In one of the major highlights of Tokyo 2020, the women’s soccer team won the gold medal after defeating Sweden in a penalty shootout when regulation and extra time couldn’t break a 1-1 tie. Twenty-year-old Julia Grosso scored the decisive penalty kick to lift Team Canada to the historic victory. Watch Grosso and Janine Beckie relive the moment.

READ: Golden generation lifts iconic Sinclair to the Olympic pinnacle
READ: Team Canada claims first ever gold medal in women’s soccer

Sprinting to relay bronze

Canada took home its second straight Olympic medal in the men’s 4x100m relay by earning bronze at Tokyo 2020. The team of Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Brendon Rodney, and Andre De Grasse defended the Rio 2016 bronze medal performance with an identical result and vowed to be ever faster in the next Olympics.

READ: Canada 4x100m relay win Tokyo bronze, vow to be faster in 2024
READ: Team Canada wins men’s 4x100m relay bronze at Tokyo 2020

Walking 50km to the Olympic podium

Evan Dunfee took home Canada’s first ever Olympic medal in the longest athletics event, winning bronze in the Tokyo 2020 50km race walk. Dunfee crossed the finish line with a time of 3 hours 50 minutes and 59 seconds after making a late move.

READ: Dunfee ‘over the moon’ after Olympic 50km race walk bronze
READ: Dunfee wins historic 50km race walk bronze at Tokyo 2020