Canada fell one spot to third with 152 medals at The Lima Pan Am Games. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Canada slips to third in Pan Am overall medals, fourth in gold standings

LIMA, Peru — The Lima Pan Am Games drew to a close Sunday with Canada slipping in the medal standings, but securing several valuable qualification spots for the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Canada fell one spot to third in the overall race with 152 medals (35 gold, 64 silver, 53 bronze), down from 217 total medals four years ago.

Many athletes jumped at the chance to compete on home turf at the 2015 Games in Toronto and A-team rosters were common. Several federations sent B-teams or split A-B teams to Peru and the medal count was affected.

The United States once again led the way with 293 medals (120-88-85) and Brazil was next with 171 (55-45-71). Mexico was third in the gold standings with 37 (two more than Canada) but fourth overall with 136 medals (37-36-63).

“I’m really proud of the way the team has performed,” said Canadian Olympic Committee president Tricia Smith. “We certainly had lots of success here. Overall a really positive Games I would say.”

Ellie Black led the way for Canada by winning five medals for the second Pan Am Games in a row. She was named flag-bearer for Sunday night’s closing ceremony at Peru’s National Stadium. She waved the flag high with dozens of other country representatives, while her fellow Canadian athletes marched behind them.

“It means so much to have this opportunity to hold our Canadian flag high and proud,” Black said. “The Canadian athletes’ performances were inspiring and so exciting to follow while in Lima and back at home.

“I’m very proud of everything we were able to achieve and I am so excited to lead this amazing team as we march into the stadium.”

Canada secured Tokyo berths in a variety of sports and disciplines over the 19 days of competition. They included equestrian (dressage team, jumping team), artistic swimming (duet, team), women’s water polo, sailing (men’s 49er) and archery (men’s individual recurve).

In addition to a number of personal bests, new Pan Am Canadian medal highs were set in water-skiing (10), fencing (nine) and squash (eight).

The mid-summer timing of the Games clashed with national and world championships in several sports. Big Canadian names like Black and decathlete Damian Warner made the trip, but several high-profile athletes did not return.

For many competitors, the Pan Ams provided valuable experience in a multi-sport Games setting as they continue to build ahead of Tokyo next summer.

Black provided several highlight performances, winning two gold medals, two silver and one bronze at the Villa El Salvador Sports Center to become Canada’s most decorated Pan Am gymnast.

“Ellie is a super role model, a team leader and an inspiration for the next generation of gymnasts,” Smith said.

Black competed early in the Games before returning home to Halifax to continue training for the world championship this fall. Canadian chef de mission Douglas Vandor phoned Black to give her the news of her flag-bearer selection.

“For me, this is so exciting for Canadian sports and Canadian gymnastics,” Black said. ”To have great results and make history for my country, but most importantly inspiring others to dream big, go for your goals, and break down barriers. It’s special to share these results with my whole team.”

Black became Canada’s first all-around medallist at a world championship when she finished second at the 2017 event in Montreal. She won her sixth all-around national title earlier this year.

Field hockey player Scott Tupper served as Canadian flag-bearer at the opening ceremony.

Although there were a few organizational hiccups and some transportation issues, Lima deserves credit for pulling off the largest sporting event ever held in Peru.

“I just feel like we’ve been embraced by this city and by this country,” Smith said. “In spite of challenges that you normally get at Games, this has been a positive experience.”

The Parapan Am Games are set for Aug. 23-Sept. 1. The 2023 Pan Am Games will be held in Santiago, Chile.

Just Posted

Festival of Trees volunteers honoured at breakfast

This year’s Festival of Trees was able to provide the Red Deer… Continue reading

Two Red Deer filmmakers are finalists in web-series contest

Angel Peterson and Jason Steele are each creating pilot episodes with $20,000 prize

Sexual predator preyed on his own young daughter and niece

Eckville man sexually assaulted numerous children as young as two for nearly a decade

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

OTTAWA — Signs began to emerge Friday that the coming race to… Continue reading

Man who tried to kill Edmonton police officer, pedestrians sentenced to 28 years

EDMONTON — A man convicted of attacking an Edmonton police officer and… Continue reading

Drug bust: Red Deer RCMP seize drugs, cash, vehicles

Criminals are getting creative. Red Deer RCMP have seized cash and vehicles… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday Join us at the Senior Center Downtown House (5414 43 St.… Continue reading

Rebels head into break with win over Swift Current

Red Deer has five wins in the last 7

Regina police say male driver dies at scene after collision with large truck

REGINA — Police in Regina are investigating a fatal crash in the… Continue reading

From fourth place, Singh says he’d rather push Liberals than work with Tories

OTTAWA — The New Democratic Party is sitting in fourth place after… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $31 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $31 million jackpot… Continue reading

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

VANCOUVER — Standing out in the rain on a path between tents… Continue reading

Advocate says Winnipeg must tackle poverty, addictions to end violent crime

WINNIPEG — A recent spike in violent crime in Manitoba’s capital has… Continue reading

Grizzly bears move north in High Arctic as climate change expands range

Some unlikely neighbours are moving in around the northernmost communities of the… Continue reading

Most Read