This Sunday, the 18th Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru will come to a close. Canada is one of 28 nations participating in this major multi-sport tournament that features over 6,000 athletes playing over 50 sports, including wrestling, rugby, archery, track, swimming, judo, volleyball, basketball, and more!
If you're not familiar, Pan Am stands for "Pan American", as in "across the Americas"... as in all the nations found in the continents of North and South America! The event happens every four years. In this part of the world, it is considered a warmup for the next Summer Olympics (next in Tokyo, 2020). In fact, for some events, it even acts as a qualifying tournament for those Olympics.
As of Saturday morning, Canada is set to finish third in total medals, just behind second-place Brazil. The United States holds a big lead overall. But the final weekend still has dozens of medal events across 25 sports, so who knows who the big winner will be?
It is unlikely that Canada will reach their outrageously successful 2015 Pan Am count of 219 (78 gold, 70 silver, 71 bronze). Of course, that year the games were held in Toronto, Canada. Still, this year, there's been a lot that the country's athletes can be proud of! Let's launch into the final weekend with a recap of some of the best from the Maple Leaf.
Sage Watson – Women's 400m Hurdles
Runner Sage Watson of Medicine Hat, Alberta was almost disqualified from her event. But after a lengthy review, her time of 55.16 gave her the gold in Women's 400m hurdles. American Anna Cockrell came in second. Clearly there were no hard feelings between the two!
Women's Artistic Swimming
Canadian women brought down the house in artistic swimming, winning both the team and duet gold medals. Talk about being in sync with each other!
Damian Warner and Pierce LePage — Men's Decathlon
Not only did London, Ontario's Damian Warner defend his 2015 Pan Am gold in the men's decathlon, his Canadian teammate, Pierce LePage grabbed bronze. Now Warner will be focused on improving his 2016 Olympic gold in the event in Tokyo next year.
Rugby Sevens see silver and gold
The men's rugby sevens lost a heartbreaker to Argentina to seal silver in Peru. But the women? They could not be stopped — they beat the United States to win their second Pan Am gold in a row! Go, Canada!