Canada’s Paralympic team takes home record 28 medals
On the night Canada’s curlers lost a last-rock heartbreaker in the Paralympic semifinals, hockey player Billy Bridges was waiting up for them when they returned home to the athletes village.
“Billy gave me a pat on the back and said ‘You’ve got to go tomorrow and win that medal for us,’ meaning the whole team Canada,” said skip Mark Ideson, who led Canada to bronze. “And that really put things back in perspective for me. So (Saturday) we played for Canada.”
The Canadian team of 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals at the Pyeongchang Paralympics, one better than four years ago in Sochi.
But the Canadians blew past that mark with several days still to go and never looked back, capturing 28 medals to crush their previous best of 19 in 2010 in Vancouver. The athletes credited Canada’s performance to a strong sense of teamwork, and a solid group of young stars on the rise.
“There were no down days, I think we were riding the high,” said Mark Arendz, whose six medals in biathlon and cross-country skiing earned him the role as the team’s flagbearer in Sunday’s closing ceremonies. “We started on this wave and we were riding it, not just nordic, but everyone here in team Canada contributed to that as well.”
Read more at: The Globe & Mail