Canadians winning hearts, not just medals

Team Canada sits in second place in medal standings as of Feb. 13, but Canada can be just as proud of the team’s heartwarming displays of sportsmanship.

The first week of the Olympic games has brought plenty of worthy stories of triumph and defeat. The Canadian athletes have been in the forefront of many of these stories.

It’s not just the impressive medal count. Team Canada has been handling itself very well on the international stage by being so nice.

Here is why Canada has won what really counts in these Olympic games:

1. The Dufour-Lapointe sisters.

Justine Dufour-Lapointe won the gold medal in the women’s freestyle skiing moguls event on Feb. 8. It was Canada’s first gold medal, and her older sister Chloe won the first silver medal.

They approached the podium holding hands, signalling their immense pride in each other.

Maxime Dufour-Lapointe was seen cheering her two younger sisters on after finishing 12th in the same event. Despite her disappointing result, she has said that she only feels pride for her sisters.

There was also this unmistakeable moment of Canadian pride when Justine received her gold medal:

2. Alex Bilodeau.

alex-bilodeauHe won his second consecutive gold medal in the men’s freestyle skiing moguls on Feb. 10.

Canada’s freestyle skiers are about family.Repeating a moment from the 2010 Olympics, Alex embraced his brother immediately after hearing of the victory.

Alex went on to credit his brother as his source of inspiration. His brother Frederic suffers from cerebral palsy.

Alex has said he witnesses the day-to-day struggle Frederic endures, and tries that much harder for his brother’s sake.

It is clear that Frederic is a huge fan of Alex as well. Alex lifted Frederic over the barrier, which allowed his brother to share in the moment with him.

3. Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais

Short Track Speed SkatingCharles Hamelin won the gold medal for the men’s 1500 m short track speed skating on Feb. 10. He is another defending gold medalist for Canada.

Hamelin recreated another moment from the 2010 Olympics. Immediately following his victory, he shared a kiss with Marianne St-Gelais. His girlfriend was on the sidelines for the celebration in Vancouver as well.

Hamelin is on a mission to become one of the most decorated Canadian Olympians. This result was a good start.

4. Gilmore Junio and Denny Morrison.

gilmore junioGilmore Junio chose to sit out of the men’s 1000-meter speed skating event on Feb. 12. He believed that another Canadian had a better chance at winning a medal in the event.

Denny Morrison went on to win the silver medal for Canada, and only narrowly missed the gold.

It is now one of Canada’s greatest examples of sportsmanship in the 2014 Olympics.

Junio put his country ahead of his own interests. For his act of selflessness, Morrison is attempting to have Junio named as the Canadian flag-bearer for the closing ceremony.

5. Justin Wadsworth.

Justin-WadsworthA Canadian cross country coach has become a household name. Justin Wadsworth saw a Russian struggling in the free sprint on Feb. 11., and he chose to act.

Anton Gafarov broke a ski during the race, but wanted to finish the race despite having no chance at a medal. Wadsworth ran onto the course and gave the Russian skier a spare ski.

Wadsworth wanted to allow Gafarov to finish his race with dignity. Wadsworth’s wife Beckie Scott had a similar event happen to her during the 2006 Olympics in Turin.

Scott was given a spare ski during the team sprint, which allowed Canada to finish the 2006 competition with a silver medal.


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