One of Canada’s first-time Olympians is now a two-time medallist.
After winning a silver medal in the men’s 1,500-metre event on Wednesday, short-track speedskater Steven Dubois added to his medal count with a bronze in the 500 metres.
The 24-year-old from Terrebonne, Que., has had to get used to taking a bumpy road to the finals. In both his medal-winning races, he was jostled out of contention in the semifinals before being advanced by the judges.
On Sunday, Dubois flashed a grin and a thumbs-up as he stepped on the podium after finishing third behind Shaoang Liu of Hungary and Konstantin Ivliev of Russia.
The two individual medals cap what’s been a dream Olympic debut for Dubois, who was a reserve in 2018.
While he came in confident in his abilities, he said he would have never believed it had someone told him a few weeks ago that he’d be a double Olympic medallist. But winning silver last week in the 1,500 metres took some of the pressure off and gave him confidence heading into the shorter event he considers his specialty.
“It’s the distance I concentrated on during training,” he said of the 500 metres. “To know I’ve finally proved that I have my place among the best at this distance, that I’ve succeeded in shining at this distance in a major competition, it’s a relief.
“I’m looking forward to reuniting with my teammates to celebrate.”
Liu finished in a time of 40.338, just ahead of Ivliev at 40.431. Dubois finished in 40.669.
Dubois’ medal highlighted a day of mixed results for Canada.
It also gave Canada’s short track team something to cheer about after the Canadian women’s 3,000-metre relay team failed to reach the podium.
The quartet composed of Kim Boutin, Alyson Charles, Courtney Sarault and Florence Brunelle finished fourth, despite looking strong in qualifiers.
The Dutch team won the gold medal in an Olympic record time of 4:03.409, while South Korea earned silver and China took bronze.
In curling, Brad Gushue’s men’s team got what they were looking for in a comfortable 10-5 win over American John Shuster, the defending Olympic champion. The women’s squad skipped by Jennifer Jones, however, had another frustrating performance in an 8-4 loss to Switzerland.
Both Gushue and Jones were coming off inauspicious starts that included two-game losing streaks heading into Sunday’s matchups.
Gushue, the 2006 champion, and his teammates looked refreshed and energized on Sunday, taking a lead with a four-point steal in the second end and cruising from there.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve lost two in a row,” Gushue said. “We were itching to get back out on the ice and get a win.”
Canada, which improved to 3-2, threw 91 per cent overall to 76 per cent for the Americans.
“They have a huge belief in each other – even after a tough game – that they’re going to come out and play well again,” said Canada alternate Marc Kennedy. “You saw no doubt in them today and that’s what we’re going to have to see.”
Gushue’s squad will look to solidify their spot in the standings Monday against Italy.
Jones, who led Canada to a gold medal in 2014, gave up back-to-back two-point steals before Swiss skip Silvana Tirinzoni ran her out of rocks in the 10th end. Canada fell to 1-3 while Switzerland improved to 5-0.
Jones will face Russia and Britain on Monday, and needs to win both to get her team back in medal contention.
“It’s super disappointing with this loss,” Jones said. “We’re going to have to go out tomorrow, one game at a time and one shot at a time, and see what happens at the end of the week.”
“There’s never mountains to climb,” she added. “We get to do what we love to do.”
For a nation that prides itself on being a curling powerhouse, Canada’s recent Olympic results have not exactly inspired.
The men’s and women’s teams were kept off the podium at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. Canada had won a medal in both events every Olympics since 1998, when men’s curling made its return and women’s curling made its debut.
Canada did win mixed doubles gold in Pyeongchang, but failed to repeat in Beijing when a crushing extra-end loss to Italy to end the preliminary round denied the team of John Morris and Rachel Homan a spot in the semifinals.
Monobob made its Olympic debut, and Canadian bobsledder Christine de Bruin put herself in a good position to win a medal. The native of Stony Plain, Alta., was second after the event’s first two heats with a total time of two minutes 10.14 seconds.
De Bruin will need to be near-perfect in Monday’s final two heats to win gold. She trails Kaillie Humphries of the United States by a considerable margin of 1.04 seconds.
“It’s a consistency race,” de Bruin said. “Anything can happen.”
Toronto’s Cynthia Appiah was 10th with a time of 2:11.28.
Humphries raced for Canada at three previous Olympics, winning two gold medals and a bronze in the two-women event. She switched to representing the United States after the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
In hockey, Canada’s men’s team sailed past host-nation China 5-0 to wrap up the group stage.
Kent Johnson and Eric O’Dell had a goal and an assist each, while Ben Street, Adam Tambellini and Corban Knight also scored for Canada. Matt Tomkins made 26 saves.
The Canadian team’s 4-2 loss to the United States on Saturday means they finish second in Group A.
Canada will now play in the tournament’s qualification round as the No. 5 seed in a rematch against China on Tuesday for a spot in the quarterfinals after Finland beat Sweden 4-3 in overtime and the U.S. downed Germany 3-2.
Elsewhere, Erik Read of Canmore, Alta., was the top Canadian in the men’s giant slalom, finishing in 13th place, and Canada came 11th in the men’s 4×10-kilometre cross-country ski relay.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2022.