The London 2012 Games wrapped up on Sunday, Aug. 12 with the typical fanfare, a closing ceremony that highlighted Great Britain's incredible contributions to the world of music and culture while athletes celebrated in chevron-shaped wedges outlining the Union Jack. But while the Canadians earned the right to celebrate some incredible performances — the bronze medal performance of our women's soccer team among them — there was a sense that not everything went according to plan, either for some of our top medal prospects or as a whole for the team. Sometimes it seemed like Canada couldn't catch a break.
Team Canada earned 18 medals, the same number as Beijing. However, athletes earned just one gold medal this time — trampolinist Rosie MacLennan — compared to three just four years earlier. And that's after funding for summer sports was increased by $35 million a year — in which case it may have been a case of too little, too late with athletes only receiving full funding for a few years before London.
In terms of gold medals, 18th places Canada in a tie with 19 other countries, including Uganda, Grenada, Bahamas, Uzbekistan, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic and others.
However, Canada did come into these Games with modest goals — a top 12 ranking in terms of total medals — where Canada placed 13th overall with a gold, five silver and 12 bronze.
But the numbers never do tell the whole story.
Our track cycling team secured just one bronze medal in the women's team pursuit, despite all the expectations for Tara Whitten and Zach Bell in the individual races.
Dylan Armstrong, who has had a few breakthrough performances in shotput recently, had to settle for fifth place after a shaky start to his day.
Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal, outnumbered by teams with up to three athletes in the field, was not a factor in the road race or time trial. Clara Hughes came agonizingly close, fifth overall, in the women's time trial, just seconds short of cementing her status as Canada's greatest Olympian.
In mountain bike, world champion and World Cup champion Catharine Pendrel was pretty much out of the running after the first lap and had to settle for ninth.
Adam van Koeverden delivered a silver medal in one of his two races, but was among the favourites to win in two events.
Our synchronized swim team was once one of the best in the world, but finished off the podium this time around.
2011 ITU World Triathlon Champion Paula Findlay was obviously not healed up enough to race and placed last in her event. Two-time Olympic medallist Simon Whitfield crashed and didn't finish.
And then there was the weirdness.