By Kerrie Lee Brown
The 2012 Summer Games in London, England proved to be one of the most exhilarating and intriguing events in athleticism to date. From the unique Opening Ceremonies and controversy over the location of the cauldron to the upsets in Basketball, Swimming and Relays – the Games saw recording-breaking spectators from all over the world that watched in anticipation as the best of the best competed for a place on the podium. Here at COLD-FX we want to congratulate our five sponsored athletes who made it to London. We’re so proud of you and so is the rest of Canada!
Canadian swimmer Ryan Cochrane was clearly focused on the 1500m in London as he swam to a silver medal. Clocking a time of 14 minutes 39.63 seconds. While unable to catch the gold medalist, Cochrane kept true to his strategy and held off the bronze medal finisher in an epic battle in the last 100m. At only 23 years old, Ryan is just entering his athletic prime and we can’t wait to see what happens next. From all of us at COLD-FX, a big congratulations!
Clara Hughes has proven her physical strength and elite athleticism time and time again. This was Clara’s sixth time representing Canada between the Winter and Summer Games. In London she showed the world how to push through the pain and crossed the finish line of the women’s cycling time trial at 1:41 local time, and with that her brilliant world-class career ended with six medals under her belt in 16 years. What an amazing feat. She did not win a seventh medal – she finished fifth this time – but she certainly represented Canada with grace and dignity. Clara, you are a true legend and we are extremely proud of your perseverance.
Jessica Zelinka wowed audiences with her skills and endurance during the Heptathlon and 100m hurdles. Jessica finished seventh overall but not without a fight to the finish line. At only 30, Zelinka became a mother since her fifth-place finish in Beijing and juggled that with motivated training to get in peak physical condition for London. It was, without question, one of the fastest women’s 100-metre hurdles races of all time. Jessica finished seventh in the final coming in at 12.69 seconds, which put her just 0.20 seconds from the podium. We are all so proud of her efforts in allowing our nation to follow in her every step.
Tara Whitten, the 32-year-old from Edmonton, won and lost the battle to speak after her grueling two-day omnium event where she finished fourth – narrowly missing the podium. She had good moments during her event but ensured a few critical breakdowns on the track during the six omnium events – cycling’s version of a heptathlon or decathlon. A PhD student in neuroscience, and only having started on the track at age 25 after converting from cross-country skiing, Tara didn’t have a lot of experience with pelotons. She won the world championship in 2010 and 2011. Tara was fourth at this year’s worlds, however, she led the charge as the Canadian women finished third in the team pursuit. Congratulations Tara on an incredible effort in London this year.
Paula Findlay’s introduction to the sport of triathlon began first as a swimmer which she had been doing since she was 10 years old. She added the running component to her skill set during high school when she joined a track club at age 15. However her dreams of a medal in London were ruined as she battled a nagging hip injury all event long finishing in 52nd place, 12 minutes and 21 seconds behind the gold medalist. Paula however proved to the rest of the world that at 23 anything is possible and the fact that she made it to the finish line with the country behind her is an accomplishment not many can live to tell.
The 2012 Summer Games certainly proved to be a true testament of our athletes’ dedication, determination and strength. Their undeniable focus and passion for sport did not go unnoticed. We are very proud to congratulate all five of these tremendous athletes who represented Canada on the big stage in front of millions. You are all gold in our hearts.