Canadian Olympians

Essay by RyankirklandA+, May 2004

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The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece in 1896. In this first revival of an ancient Greek festival, Canadian athletes did not win any medals. The first gold medal winning Canadian was George Orton, who won gold in the 2500m steeplechase at the 1900 Olympics held in Paris. As Canada grew as a country, the medal count grew as well. The medal tally grew from three gold and one silver in 1904, to three gold, four silver and six bronze at the 1908 Olympics. Canada continued to develop its athletes and the athletes continued to bring home the medals. In 1928 Canada asserted itself as a major Olympic power by winning four gold, four silver, and six bronze and ending up finishing sixth in the medal standings. Canada continued to do well at the Berlin games of 1936. Then it all fell apart.

Canada went 15 summer and winter games without winning more than six medals.

Then there was a faint light when Canada hosted its first Olympics in Montreal in 1976. The Canadians did not win any gold but managed five silver and five bronze. Canada then went on to another eight years of relative mediocrity. Canada finally broke out of its drought in Los Angeles in 1984. Canadians won nine gold medals, seventeen silver medals and sixteen bronze medals. The nation finished fourth overall in the medal standings. Since that time Canada has enjoyed Olympic success that it has never seen before.

Throughout the forty-two Olympic games that Canada has been involved in, our nation's athletes have won seventy-nine gold medals, one hundred six silver medals, and one hundred twenty seven bronze medals. All of these athletes have put thousands of hours into their sport to receive a small piece of metal that is the pinnacle...