Canada's Best Summer Olympic Moments

Canada isn't just about hockey. Check out the best Canadian moments in summer sport.

rosannagh maclennan
Complex Original

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rosannagh maclennan

Canada is a nation forever tied to its maple syrup, its friendly nature, and its winter sports. These national stereotypes are held strongly down south, and if we're being honest, around the world as well. But just like there is a lot more to Canada than its three most populous cities, there is also a lot more to Canadian sport than just hockey. Our dominance of the winter podium speaks for itself, but not often as heralded, are our summer achievements. While we may not snag home as many medals as our American neighbours, we have a whole lot to be proud of in our summer athletes.

With Rio 2016 well underway, we bring you Canada's best moments from the Summer Olympics.

Rosannagh MacLennan - London 2012

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Rosie MacLennan did Canada proud during the 2012 summer games. The King City native was already an incredible gymnast before her performance in London, but she's since gained star status within the Canadian program. This of course, is due to the fact that she finished as Canada's only gold medalist, with a deciding win in women's trampoline. Before she beat out China's Huang Shanshan, the hope faded for a first place finish. Her lone gold win has cemented her as a Olympic hero. It's safe to say that the girl from a small town in Ontario, has truly come a long way since volunteering at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Donovan Bailey - Atlanta 1996

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In the year 1996, runner Donovan Bailey made history. The Canadian strutted onto the Olympic track, and emerged with the world record for the fastest finish in the 100 meter sprint. Clocking in at 9.84 seconds, it was a record to be unbroken for three years, and an Olympic record that stood untouched until 2008. Before Bailey crossed the finish line, the track was dominated by a barrage of stars and stripes. The man representing Canada was able to bring home the gold, and reinvigorate a team that hadn't been the same since Ben Johnson's medal was rescinded. With the win, Bailey ushered in a new era. His era.

Silken Laumann - Barcelona 1992

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While she didn't quite clinch first place, Silken Laumann remains an Olympic legend for winning bronze under extreme circumstances. Before the 1992 Olympics, Laumann was predicted to be a top contender for a title in women's rowing. She had already rowed her way to victory on the global stage, and was poised to enter Barcelona as an athlete to watch. But just as the games ramped up in Barcelona, Silken was victim to a terrible accident. While in water, Laumann's shell smashed against a German boat. The event left her with a broken leg, which was a serious blow to her Olympic dreams. The athlete was forced to undergo five major surgeries in a little over two months. Despite the damage, Laumann decided to compete in Spain, and placed third in the women's single sculls. Following the win, Laumann became Canada's flag bearer during the closing ceremonies.

Christine Sinclair - London 2012

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Canada's women have always controlled the soccer pitch. The team has consistently placed highly within the FIFA rankings, and they were hardly a pushover during last year's women's world cup, of which they were the host nation. More recently, their true success can be credited to their captain and star striker, Christine Sinclair. When Canada stepped onto the field during the London Olympics, they were up against tough competition. After reaching their way to the semi-finals, Canada looked within close reach of the gold medal game. It was this game that saw Sinclair put in one of the best performances in Olympic women's soccer. The star notched three goals against the United States, earning her a hat trick. Sinclair was an absolute beast during the match, but it was sadly, not enough for the Canucks to move forward. The team ended up bowing out 4-3, but nothing can take away the captain's performance.

Daniel Igali - Sydney 2000

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Nigerian-born, Daniel Igali, has a truly incredible story. Igali spent his formative years in an impoverished village before rising to become captain of the Nigerian wrestling team. This feat was accomplished in spite of the enormous amount of political unrest that his country was facing. When Igali traveled to Canada during the 1994 Commonwealth games, he intended to make it his new home. After finally receiving refugee status in 1998, Daniel enrolled in post-secondary education, and continued to hone his wrestling craft. This all culminated in win during the Sydney games, where Igali represented Canada, and made history as the first Canadian to win gold in men's wrestling. Igali now resides in British Columbia, where he is pursuing a political career.

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