In this June 27, 2015 file photo, Canada’s
Christine Sinclair celebrates her goal
against England during first half of FIFA
World Cup quarter-final soccer action in
Vancouver, B.C. (THE CANADIAN
PRESS / Jonathan Hayward)
Canada’s goal at the Rio Olympics is a
top-12 finish in the medal standings.
Here’s a look at some Canadian athletes
to watch at the Games:
Brimming with confidence after her first
major win on the LPGA Tour, Henderson
is enjoying another strong, consistent
season. The Rio golf course suits her big-
hitting game and the 18-year-old will be
a podium favourite now that she’s
rocketed up the world rankings.
Canada’s lone reigning Olympic
champion is back to defend her women’s
trampoline title. Head injuries slowed her
progress over the last year but
MacLennan expects to be in top form for
De Grasse showed he belonged among
the track world’s elite by racing to a
bronze in the 100 metres at the world
championship last year. The 2020 Tokyo
Games may be a better bet for an
Olympic breakthrough, but lining up
against Usain Bolt in Rio would still be
must-watch television.
Sinclair carried the Canadian women’s
soccer team on her back in London,
willing the squad to a bronze medal. It
will be a tall order to return to the podium
this year. However, any team with the
sublime Sinclair on the pitch cannot be
counted out.
Drouin emerged in the Olympic spotlight
four years ago by finishing third in the
men’s high jump and really cemented his
elite status with a world title last year.
Drouin also has Commonwealth and Pan
Am gold on his resume and could very
well win his first Olympic title.
The six-foot guard has shone on the big
stage, helping the University of
Connecticut win back-to-back NCAA
women’s basketball titles and leading
Canada to gold at the FIBA Americas and
Pan Am Games. Nurse is coming off
surgery for a sports hernia but is
expected to be fully recovered in time for
the Games. Assuming she’s back in top
form, she’ll again be a dynamic force on
the hardcourt for a Canadian team that
has a decent shot at the podium.
Gold would be the next step in the
Olympic progression for the Canadian
distance freestyle swimmer. Cochrane
won bronze in the 1,500 metres at the
2008 Beijing Games and added Olympic
silver four years later in London. He will
also race in the 400 and could reach the
podium at that distance too.
Women’s boxing made its Olympic debut
in London but Fortin missed out on
Canada’s lone 75-kilo roster spot, which
went to Mary Spencer. American Claressa
Shields is the dominant force in the
division but Fortin could still be in the mix
for a medal.
The veteran paddler won bronze in his
Olympic debut in London four years ago.
The two-time world champion in the K1
200 metres also won gold at the Pan Am
Games last summer in Toronto. He’s a
favourite to reach the podium again in
Quebec divers Roseline Filion, Jennifer
Abel, Meaghan Benfeito and Pamela Ware
— known as the Fab IV — are all medal
threats in both synchro and individual
events. They also say they’re best friends
who love to have fun together. There’s
plenty of evidence of this on their official
Fab IV Twitter account.