Isabelle Weidemann collected the full set of medals at the Beijing Olympics. She’ll add one more honour before heading home.
The Canadian Olympic Committee announced on Sunday morning in Beijing that Weidemann, the 26-year-old speed skater from Ottawa, would be Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony.
Weidemann became only the second Canadian Olympian ever to collect gold, silver and bronze at the same Winter Games. She anchored the team pursuit squad to victory after placing second in the 5,000 metres and third in 3,000 metres.
“We were still on a mission. We went into that final wanting to skate our best,” she told CBC Sports of the team pursuit. “This is just incredible. It’s been such an incredible week here in Beijing.”
WATCH | Relieve Isabelle Weidemann’s remarkable Games:
Relive the Olympics of Beijing’s triple medallist, speed skater Isabelle Weidemann
Canadian speed skater Isabelle Weidemann won three medals at the Beijing Olympics, including one of every colour on her way to being named Canada’s closing ceremony flag-bearer. 0:59
Her Olympic title didn’t come without drama. Despite eventually setting an Olympic record in the event, it seemed as though Canada would be forced to settle for silver as its Japanese opponents raced out to an early lead.
When Weidemann took over at the front of the Canadian pack, she cut about nearly a second off of the deficit heading into the final lap.
Still, it seemed like it would be too little, too late. But suddenly, Japan’s Nana Takagi slipped on the final turn, opening the door to the top of the podium for Canada.
WATCH | Canada wins team pursuit gold, led by Weidemann:
Canadian women claim 1st ever Olympic gold in team pursuit
Canadian speed skaters Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais win the gold medal in women’s team pursuit with an Olympic record time of 2:53.44. 7:30
“We are still thinking, is this real? We knew we had a strong team, we knew we could put pressure on Japan and all the other strong teams today. I don’t know if we’d thought about this possible outcome,” Weidemann said after the race.
The victory also cashed the golden tickets that the team of Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais kept in their wallets in the lead-up to the Games. The trio just missed the podium, finishing fourth, at the 2018 Olympics.
WATCH | Team pursuit trio reflects on golden tickets:
Weidemann designs ‘golden ticket’ to motivate team pursuit teammates
For months before Beijing, Isabelle Weidemann, Valerie Maltais and Ivanie Blondin kept golden tickets in their wallets. Then they cashed them in for the real thing, Olympic gold. 1:42
That heartbreak for Weidemann was only exacerbated by sixth- and seventh-place finishes in her other distances in Korea.
“I have some unresolved goals from the last Games. I don’t feel I skated to my potential,” she told CBC Sports.
She quickly rectified that in China, claiming Canada’s first medal of the Games with her 3,000m bronze. Five days later, she took another step up the podium after scoring silver in the 5,000m.
The gold, with her teammates by her side, was the crowning achievement.
WATCH | Weidemann’s family cheers from afar for her silver medal:
Isabelle Weidemann’s family cheers her on to 2nd medal of Beijing
While they couldn’t be in Beijing, Isabelle Weidemann knows her family is cheering every step of the way from Calgary. The Canadian speed skater added a silver in the 5,000m to her Beijing medal haul on Thursday. 1:12
It was one of just four won by Canada at these Games — down from 11 in Pyeongchang. Other than the team pursuit, Canadians also earned Olympic titles in short track speed skating (men’s team relay), women’s hockey and men’s slopestyle snowboarding courtesy of Max Parrot.
Short tracker Steven Dubois matched Weidemann’s full medal set in Beijing, helping Olympic legend Charles Hamelin to the sixth medal of his decorated career in the team relay.
Hamelin, the opening ceremony flag-bearer alongside women’s hockey captain Marie-Philip Poulin, matched Cindy Klassen’s medal record for a Canadian Winter Olympian.
Poulin collected the third golden goal of her career after notching a pair to help Canada beat the U.S. in the final. Sarah Nurse, who earned two points in that game for 18 total, broke Hayley Wickenheiser’s mark for points in a single Games. Forward Brianne Jenner matched the Olympic record with nine goals.
WATCH | Canada reclaims women’s hockey gold:
Highlights: Canadian women’s hockey team defeats U.S. to capture gold
Canada’s women’s hockey team claims their first Olympic title since 2014 with a 3-2 victory over rival United States. 5:26
Parrot added big air bronze to go with his slopestyle victory — and he did it about three years after recovering from cancer.
It’s apparent there was no shortage of flag-bearer candidates for Canada.
But ultimately, it’ll be the six-foot-two Weidemann waving the Canadian flag at National Indoor Stadium.
The ceremony is set to begin at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET), and there are many ways sports fans can catch the show despite the 13-hour time difference between Beijing and Central Canada.
Viewers can watch the show beginning with coverage on Olympic Morning at 6 a.m. ET on CBC-TV, or on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem. Check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.