AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, AP Photo/Ng Han Guan
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

5 Team Canada sports to watch this weekend: February 2-4

Although many Canadians will undoubtedly take advantage of the weekend to participate in their favourite winter sports, there will be more than a few Team Canada athletes competing in summer sports over the coming days. All the while, the winter sport season continues.

The 2024 World Aquatics Championships will start this weekend and are the last chance for Canada to earn Olympic quota spots for Paris 2024 in a few sports. Many of Canada’s top figure skaters are at the ISU Four Continents Championships in China, while the long track speed skating World Cup circuit comes to its conclusion in Quebec City. In their last push towards Olympic qualification, Canadian track cyclists kick off the UCI Nations Cup circuit in Australia and it’s Davis Cup Qualifier weekend in Montreal.

Here are a few things you’ll want to follow over the next few days.

Aquatics: Diving, Artistic Swimming, Water Polo, Open Water Swimming

The World Aquatics Championships will take place February 2-18 in Doha, Qatar. Pool swimming events won’t get underway until the second week, but this weekend will see Canadian divers, artistic swimmers, water polo players, and open water swimmers in action.

Diving: In diving, the first finals on the schedule are not Olympic program events, but will be a good way to ease into the meet. Mia Vallée is entered in the women’s 1m springboard while Cédric Fofana will compete in the men’s 1m springboard.

The first event with Olympic implications for Canada is the women’s 10m platform. Caeli McKay and Kate Miller are both entered in Sunday’s preliminaries, with the semifinal and final scheduled for Monday. They’ll also compete in the women’s 10m synchro event on Tuesday. McKay won individual 10m bronze at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, which secured an Olympic spot for Canada in the event.

SEE: Team Canada Paris 2024 Qualification Tracker

The women’s 3m synchro event will take place Wednesday and feature Vallée competing alongside Pamela Ware. The next day they’ll be in the preliminaries for the women’s 3m springboard, ahead of the semifinal and final on Friday. Ware’s bronze at the 2023 Worlds earned Canada an Olympic spot in the individual 3m event.

Wednesday is finals day for the men’s 3m springboard, to which Fofana and Carson Paul will both aim to advance. Thursday is when the men’s 10m synchro event with Nathan Zsombor-Murray and Rylan Wiens will be contested. They’re both entered in the men’s 10m platform which has its preliminaries the following day. Zsombor-Murray’s seventh place finish at the 2023 Worlds locked up an Olympic spot for Canada in the individual 10m event.

Canada is aiming to qualify Olympic spots in the three synchro events noted. There are four spots available in each synchro event, which will go to teams that did not win medals at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships to secure Olympic qualification there.

There are 12 Olympic spots to be awarded in each of the individual 3m and 10m events. A country can qualify a maximum of two athletes per event. An athlete who has already earned an Olympic quota spot cannot earn a second one for their country.

Artistic Swimming: Two-time Olympian Jacqueline Simoneau is back with the national team. In addition to the non-Olympic solo events, she will compete alongside Audrey Lamothe in the duet technical and free events. Those duet finals are on Monday and Thursday, respectively.

READ: Just breathe and have fun: Canadian artistic swimmers ahead of World Aquatics Championships

Canada will try to qualify a full team for Paris 2024. The top five teams from the cumulative results of the acrobatic, technical, and free routines who are not yet qualified will secure their Olympic spots. All teams qualified will also automatically qualify a duet for Paris. There are three other Olympic spots available exclusively for duets from countries not yet qualified.

Water Polo: The women’s water polo tournament will get underway on Sunday. To qualify for Paris 2024, Canada will need be among the top two teams that are not yet qualified.

READ: Canadian women’s water polo team gears up for last chance at Olympic qualification at World Aquatics Championships

Canada is in a round robin group with Italy, South Africa and Great Britain and those games will be played through Thursday before crossover games on Saturday to set up the quarterfinals on February 12. Canada finished seventh at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships. Of the teams ranked ahead of them there, Italy (third place) and Hungary (sixth place) are also on the hunt for Olympic qualification in Doha.

Open Water Swimming: The Olympic distance events are this weekend. Emma Finlin and Laila Oravsky race in the women’s 10km event on Saturday, followed by Hau-Li Fan and Eric Hedlin in the men’s 10km on Sunday. The top 13 swimmers in each event will earn Olympic quota spots for their country, with a maximum of two spots per country. They’ll join the medallists from last year’s worlds at Paris 2024 along with the top-ranked athlete from each continent not yet qualified.

Figure Skating

There are 18 Canadians competing at the ISU Four Continents Championships in Shanghai, China. This is the last major event before the ISU World Championships in Montreal in mid March.

Following the short program, Deanna Stellato-Dudek and Maxime Deschamps are in first place in the pairs event, close to four points ahead of the field. Lia Pereira and Trennt Michaud are in sixth place while Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Éthier sit eighth. Stellato-Dudek and Deschamps have consistently been among the world’s top team this season and won bronze at the ISU Grand Prix Final in December. That free skate will be on Saturday.

Also looking for a good warmup for the worlds are Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier. Last year’s world bronze medallists will get going with the rhythm dance on Friday. Also entered are Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen as well as Marie-Jade Lauriault and Romain Le Gac. The free dance will be skated on Sunday.

New national champion Wesley Chiu will skate in the final flight of the men’s free skate on Saturday after placing sixth in the short program. This is his first senior ISU Championship appearance. Roman Sadovsky sits ninth midway through his first international competition of the season while Conrad Orzel is in 17th.

Madeline Schizas is in ninth place after the women’s short program, ahead of Sara-Maude Dupuis (12th) and Justine Miclette (14th). Their free skate is on Friday.

Long Track Speed Skating

Canada will have 29 athletes at the sixth and final ISU World Cup Speed Skating stop of the season in Quebec City. Several of them are on track to finish among the top three in the overall ranking of their respective events.

Valérie Maltais and Ivanie Blondin are 1-2 in the women’s mass start standings heading into Sunday’s finale. Maltais is currently third overall in the women’s long distance standings and is coming off a bronze medal in the 3000m last weekend in Salt Lake City. She’ll aim for more points in that event on Friday.

Laurent Dubreuil is in second place in the men’s 500m standings after podiums in his last three starts in the distance. He’ll look to maintain his momentum as he races on the ice where he trains regularly. There are 500m races on both Saturday and Sunday.

Ted-Jan Bloemen is third in the men’s long distance standings. He’s coming off a bronze in the 5000m in Salt Lake City and will line up for that event on Friday.

It is the first time since 1992 (when it was outdoors!) that Quebec City is hosting a speed skating World Cup. Tickets for all three days of competition at the indoor Centre de glaces start at $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children for general admission.

Track Cycling

The first UCI Track Nations Cup of the season will take place in Adelaide, Australia. Canadian cyclists will be looking to add some valuable points towards the country’s UCI Track Olympic Ranking in each event. Those rankings, which count results dating back to July 9, 2022, will close on April 14, following the third Nations Cup of the year which is being hosted in Milton, Ontario (click for information about how to attend!). All Olympic quota spots will be allocated based on the UCI Track Olympic Rankings.

Lauriane Genest, Sarah Orban, and Jackie Boyle will race in the women’s sprint events, starting with the team sprint on Friday. Genest and Orban will also compete in the individual sprint on Saturday and Olympic bronze medallist Genest is in the keirin on Sunday.

James Hedgcock, Tyler Rorke, and Nick Wammes are the men’s team sprint trio. Rorke and Wammes will additionally race the sprint, with Wammes also in the keirin.

Ariane Bonhomme, Maggie Coles-Lyster, Fiona Majendie, and Sarah van Dam will form the Canadian quartet in the women’s team pursuit on Friday while Dylan Bibic, Michael Foley, Mathias Guillemette, Carson Mattern, and Sean Richardson will join forces for the men’s team pursuit that same day.

Bibic and van Dam will compete in their respective elimination races on Friday. Start lists have not been published for the other endurance events, but Coles-Lyster and Bibic both have experience in the omnium.


It is in front of their home fans in Montreal that Canadian tennis players will try to win their duel against the Republic of Korea in this weekend’s Davis Cup Qualifiers. It is the first time since 2018 that Canada will have home court advantage in a Davis Cup tie.

Vasek Pospisil, Gabriel Diallo, and Alexis Galarneau are expected to do the heavy lifting for Canada, but will be supported by Milos Raonic and Liam Draxl in the best-of-five matches clash. On Friday, Diallo and Pospisil will each play a singles match and then Galarneau will team up with Pospisil for doubles. On Saturday, Diallo and Pospisil will be back for singles against the opposite player from Friday.

At No. 132, Diallo is the top-ranked Canadian singles player on the squad. Along with Pospisil and Galarneau, he was a member of the Davis Cup champion team in 2022. Pospisil has received his 25th Davis Cup nomination, making him the veteran of the team. Draxl is wearing Canadian colours for the very first time in his career.

If Canada defeats South Korea, they will advance to the 16-team group stage of the Davis Cup Finals scheduled for September.