Team Canada members taking part in the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games closing ceremonies festivities were all smiles Sunday, in Lake Placid.
In addition to the convincing victory in men's hockey, the Canadian delegation had just experienced its second-best Winter Games in history, with a tally of 13 medals – six gold, one silver and six bronze. The six gold medals represent the highest total ever for Canada at a Winter Games, and the third highest total, winter and summer combined. The Canadians won 12 gold medals at Buffalo 1993 and 10 at Edmonton 1983.
In the medal table, Canada finished in third place, behind Japan and the Republic of Korea. It was the best Canadian result at a Winter Games since Belluno 1985, where the country finished second.
“These first Games since the start of the pandemic have been a complete success for our Canadian student-athletes,” said Canada’s Chef de Mission, Ben Matchett. “They arrived in Lake Placid with a smile and with the desire to perform, and that attitude reflected in their results. It has been two extraordinary weeks, and we could not be more proud of them.”
After the medal ceremony in men's hockey, the FISU flag was lowered and handed over to the mayor of Turin, where the next Winter Games will take place in 2025. Artistic performances followed, before the extinction of the Olympic cauldron, made up not of a flame but of LED lights, a sign of the organizing committee’s desire to leave a responsible environmental footprint at these Games.
A great march of the athletes on Lake Placid’s Main Street completed the day.
Before the closing ceremony, Team Canada competed in three last events.
For the first time since 2013, Canada has won gold in men’s hockey at the FISU Games. Capping a dominant performance that saw them outscore their opponents 48-8, the Canadians topped their rivals, USA by a 7-2 score on Sunday (read full story here).
This allowed Canada to claim their 13th medal of the Lake Placid Games.
When the buzzer sounded, the Canadian players flooded the ice, throwing their sticks and gloves into the air, knowing gold was theirs. The final shots were 47-19, capping an incredible defensive effort all tournament long.
In true team fashion, 12 players on the roster hit the scoresheet, underlining the team’s depth.
At Gore Mountain, Adam Farber (Wilfrid Laurier) had the best Canadian result of the day in the parallel slalom finishing 12th. Andrew Behan (Wilfrid Laurier) was also eliminated in the round of 16 and finished 14th.
Gabriel Wood (Queen's, 19th) and Jacob Farber (Wilfrid Laurier, 27th) did not advance after the qualifying round.
At Mount van Hoevenberg, Aidan Kirkham (Ottawa) finished 16th in the 30km mass start in 1:14:12.6, the best Canadian performance. Robin Mason (Calgary) finished 24th, Antoine Nicol (Cégep de Saint-Jérôme), 40th, and Joseph Hutton (Nipissing), 48th.
On the women’s side, it was Bronwyn Williams (Carleton) who finished first in the Canadian contingent with a 23rd place. Emmanuelle Simard (Laval) finished 42nd, Katherine Mason (Carleton), 46th, and Natalie Thain (Calgary), 49th.