Four Straight Medals Would Make History

Winning an Olympic medal is reaching the pinnacle of that sport. It represents years of determination and hard work with little fanfare and much sacrifice. It also means outperforming all competitors.

Reaching the Olympic podium is a long journey – and an elusive step for most athletes. Yet for 13 Canadian Olympians, this moment, that Olympic medal, happened at three consecutive Olympic Games in precisely the same sport event. These athletes comprise an exclusive group able to stay at world-class level for nearly 10 years.

At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Canadian history could be made. It is possible that five of these record-setting athletes will take one step further. They could become Canada’s only Olympic medallists four straight times in the same event.

The list of 13:


Isabelle Charest, short track speed skating (3,000-metre relay):

1994 (silver), 1998 (bronze), 2002 (bronze)

Tania Vicent, short track speed skating (3,000-metre relay):

1998 (bronze), 2002 (bronze), 2006 (silver)

Jennifer Botterill, ice hockey:

1998 (silver), 2002 (gold), 2006 (gold)

Cassie Campbell, ice hockey:

1998 (silver), 2002 (gold), 2006 (gold)

Danielle Goyette, ice hockey:

1998 (silver), 2002 (gold), 2006 (gold)

Jayna Hefford, ice hockey:

1998 (silver), 2002 (gold), 2006 (gold)

Becky Kellar, ice hockey:

1998 (silver), 2002 (gold), 2006 (gold)

Vicky Sunohara, ice hockey:

1998 (silver), 2002 (gold), 2006 (gold)

Hayley Wickenheiser, ice hockey:

1998 (silver), 2002 (gold), 2006 (gold)


Caroline Brunet, canoe-kayak (K-1 500 metre):

1996 (silver), 2000 (silver), 2004 (bronze)

Karen Cockburn, gymnastics-trampoline:

2000 (bronze), 2004 (silver), 2008 (silver)

Lesley Thompson-Willie, rowing (women’s eight):

1992 (gold), 1996 (silver), 2000 (bronze)

Tom Ponting, swimming (4×100 m medley):

1984 (silver), 1988 (silver), 1992 (bronze)

At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Vicent and hockey teammates Botterill, Wickenheiser, Kellar and Hefford may have a shot at achieving an Olympic first for Canada – four in four. A feat not soon to be matched but sure to be celebrated.

In the above list, rowing cox Lesley Thompson-Willie has the notable distinction of being the only Canadian to reach the podium in four different Olympic Games. (She also had a 1984 silver medal in fours with cox.) Early on in Vancouver next February, speed skater Clara Hughes will have the chance to match Thompson’s record. Hughes has five medals in cycling and speed skating spread across 1996, 2002 and 2006.