It’s all over – well until the next Commonwealth Games in 2022, hosted by Birmingham in the UK. But in between there is that other games, the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 for which many athletes who competed in Gold Coast, will be very prepared for, because they competed in these Games over the last 12 days. That is the significance of the Commonwealth Games. Even without the powerhouse countries like the US or Russia, it is still an excellent training ground for our athletes and good preparation for the Olympics.
So how did we measure? Ranked third overall in medal tally with 82 medals and fourth in the number of gold medals with 15. We were short of the 100-medal target but had some notable performances – namely from swimmer Taylor Ruck with eight medals, wrestler Erica Wiebe winning gold following her gold medal performance in Rio in 2016, and the men’s basketball team winning silver. There was disappointment for the Langford- based women’s rugby 7’s team who missed out on bronze, beaten by England. And what happened to Damien Warner in the decathlon? Nowhere near a medal – but teammate Pierce LePage saves the day for Canada with a silver.
Of the 283 athletes in the Canadian team, 52 either came from or train in Victoria. Medal winners were Joanna Brown, bronze in triathlon, Haley Smith, bronze in mountain biking, Jay Lamoureux, bronze in the team pursuit (cycling), silver for Conor Morgan (men’s basketball), and silver for Sarah Darcel in swimming. The number of near misses – fourth place – was amazing: team triathlon, lawn bowls, women’s rugby 7’s, to name just three.
And this is equally incredible – 14 of the 15 golds were won by women. If that isn’t girl power what is? “We’re very proud of our women, and our men, but it was nice to see the women come out and perform well at these Games,” Canadian chef de mission Claire Carver-Dias said. “Our women really held their own here and that’s a really proud moment for Canada.”