Canadian Olympic Committee Closes Out 2008 Games Among Top-16 Nations



    Karen Cockburn Chosen as Closing Ceremony Flag Bearer

    BEIJING, Aug. 24 /CNW/ - The Canadian Olympic Team closes out the Games
of the XXIX Olympiad tonight with a total of 18 medals, placing them tied for
13th overall in terms of total medals (as of Sunday morning) and within their
projected goal as one of the top 16 nations. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
hosted a record 204 nations. In preparation for the closing ceremony, Canada
has chosen Toronto's Karen Cockburn as its flag bearer.
    Cockburn, 27, captured a silver medal in women's trampoline on Day 10 of
the Games (Aug. 18). The medal was her third in as many Games, making her one
of only five Canadians to have reached the podium in three consecutive summer
Games (Phil Edwards, Athletics; Lesley Thompson-Willie, Rowing; Caroline
Brunet, Canoe/Kayak; Emilie Heymans, Diving).
    Cockburn also won bronze in Sydney in 2000 and silver in Athens in 2004.
    "I'm incredibly humbled by this honour," said Cockburn. "It will be an
unbelievable thrill. There were so many great Olympic moments for Canada in
Beijing. These will definitely be Games to remember."
    "We are so proud of each and every one of our Canadian Olympians," said
Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) president Michael Chambers. "Our top-16 goal
was ambitious but it was matched by the determination of our athletes. They
came here on a mission and they delivered. The building blocks are in place.
We're on the right path for London 2012."
    "Living with these exceptional athletes over the last few weeks and
seeing their dedication and professionalism has made me realize how fortunate
we are as Canadians to have them as our ambassadors," said Canada's Chef de
Mission Sylvie Bernier. "Peter (Giles) and I managed to attend almost all
their events and we were moved by their exploits and accomplishments."
    The Canadian Olympic Team finished with three gold, nine silver and six
bronze medals. Its 18 medals equaled the totals from the Barcelona Games in
1992 to match its third best Games ever. Only Atlanta in 1996 (22) and Los
Angeles in 1984 (44) rank higher.
    Canada also finished the Beijing Games with 10 fourth-place finishes, six
fifth-place finishes and a total of 59 top-8 finishes. Looking at conversion
rates, Canada converted 67% of its pool of potential medalists (27) in 2008
compared to a 34% conversion rate in Athens. The 2004 Games saw Canada finish
with eight fourth-place finishes, 15 fifth-place results and a total of 60 in
the top-8.
    Day 8 of Olympic competition saw Canada collect its first medals after
rowers David Calder (Victoria) and Scott Frandsen (Kelowna, B.C.) captured
silver in men's pairs. They were followed closely by wrestler Carol Huynh
(Hazelton, B.C.), who won Canada's first gold of 2008 in the women's 48kg
division. Tonya Verbeek (Beamsville, Ont.) then followed suit and collected
her second career Olympic wrestling medal with a bronze in the women's 55kg
division. The tally would provide Canada its momentum as it proceeded to
record four straight multi-medal days.
    As the Canadian Olympic Team proceeded through the second week,
Equestrian's Eric Lamaze turned in a double medal performance. The Schomberg,
Ontario native first helped teammates Ian Millar (Perth, Ont.), Mac Cone (King
City, Ont.) and Jill Henselwood (Oxford Mills, Ont.) win Canada its first
medal (silver) in Team Jumping in 40 years. Lamaze then proceeded to capture
gold in show jumping for the Canada's first individual gold medal in
Equestrian.
    In rowing, Canada sent five boats to finals and they captured a
team-leading four medals; one gold, one silver and two bronze. Five other
sports earned two medals each for Canada in 2008. These include Canoe/Kayak,
Diving, Equestrian, Trampoline and Wrestling.
    Other Canadian highlights from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games include:
    
    -  Ian Millar winning his first career Olympic medal (silver, Team
       Jumping) in his ninth Games appearance
    -  First-time Olympian Jason Burnett (Etobicoke, Ont.) winning silver in
       men's trampoline
    -  The men's 8 in rowing defending their world title and claiming Olympic
       gold at Shunyi
    -  Three-time Olympian Alexandre Despatie (Laval, Que.) winning silver in
       the men's 3m springboard, matching his result from 2004
    -  Emilie Heymans (Greenfield Park, Que.) winning silver in the women's
       10m platform for her third medal in as many Games (silver in 2000 and
       bronze in 2004 in 10m synchronized)
    -  Victoria's Ryan Cochrane capturing bronze in the men's 1,500m
       freestyle while Canadian swimmers set 27 new national records and made
       10 finals
    -  Three-time Olympian Simon Whitfield (Kingston, Ont.) returning to the
       podium with a silver in the men's triathlon-eight years removed from
       his gold in Sydney
    -  Opening ceremony flag bearer Adam van Koeverden setting a world record
       in the K1-500 heats and then paddling to silver in the final for his
       third career Olympic medal
    -  Prescilla Lopes-Schliep (Whitby, Ont.) running to bronze in the
       women's 100m hurdles for Athletics' first medal since Atlanta 1996
    -  The men's archery team placing 11th for their highest finish ever at
       an Olympic Games
    -  Cycling's Svein Tuft (Langley, B.C.) and Ryder Hesjadel (Victoria)
       each beating Canada's previous best finish in the time trial, placing
       7th and 16th respectively (previous best 18th by Eric Wohlberg in
       2004)
    -  Toronto's Michael Barry posting a ninth-place finish in cycling's
       individual road race for Canada's best finish since Steve Bauer's
       silver in 1984

    Canada's 2008 Olympic medallists are:

    Gold

    Equestrian       Eric Lamaze                      Show jumping
    Rowing           Kevin Light, Ben Rutledge,       Men's Eight
                     Andrew Byrnes, Jake Wetzel,
                     Malcolm Howard, Dominic Seiterle,
                     Adam Kreek, Kyle Hamilton,
                     Brian Price
    Wrestling        Carol Huynh                      Women's Freestyle 48 kg

    Silver

    Canoe/Kayak      Adam van Koeverden               K-1 500m
    Taekwondo        Karine Sergerie Women's          67kg
    Diving           Emilie Heymans                   10m Platform
    Triathlon        Simon Whitfield                  Men's triathlon
    Gymnastics       Jason Burnett                    Trampoline
    Diving           Alexandre Despatie               Men's 3m springboard
    Gymnastics       Karen Cockburn                   Trampoline
    Equestrian       Jill Henselwood, Eric Lamaze,    Team jumping
                     Ian Millar, Mac Cone
    Rowing           David Calder, Scott Frandsen     Men's pair

    Bronze

    Canoe/Kayak      Thomas Hall                      C-1 1000m
    Athletics        Priscilla Lopes-Schliep          Women's 100m Hurdles
    Rowing           Melanie Kok, Tracy Cameron       Lightweight women's
                                                      double sculls
    Swimming         Ryan Cochrane                    Men's 1,500m freestyle
    Rowing           Iain Brambell, Jon Beare,        Lightweight men's four
                     Mike Lewis, Liam Parsons
    Wrestling        Tonya Verbeek                    Women's freestyle 55 kg
    

    The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit
organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects
of Canada's involvement in the Olympic movement, including Canada's
participation in the Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of
programs that promote the Olympic movement in Canada through cultural and
educational means. For more information, see the COC website: www.olympic.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Steve Keogh, Director, Communications, Canadian
Olympic Committee, Beijing cell: 15007724275, Email: skeogh@olympic.ca; Sylvie
Bigras, Chef de presse, Canadian Olympic Committee, Beijing Cell: 15007724317,
Email: sbigras@olympic.ca

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