Oh, Canada! Winter Olympians to watch at Beijing 2022

Many of these athletes are likely to take home medals during this year's Winter Olympics

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are almost here! The Games kick off Feb. 4 and run through Feb. 20 in China's capital city. 

While Team Canada had a very strong Summer Olympics in Tokyo this past July, the Winter Olympics are where we have traditionally shined. It makes sense, considering we have so much snow and ice! 

Canada is sending 215 athletes to Beijing, which is our third largest team of all time, just behind Pyeongchang and Sochi in 2018 and 2014, respectively. Theres plenty of opportunities for "O Canada" to be heard during the next few weeks, since some previous medallists and legends are heading back to the Games – and there are some first-timers who could make a huge splash in their debuts, too! 

Canada has strong chances to medal in women's ice hockey, curling, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, speed skating and many more events. 

Keep reading to see some of the top medal contenders representing us and making us proud during Beijing 2022! 

Cynthia Appiah 

This will be North York, Ontario-born Cynthia's first time competing in an Olympics, where she's set to race in the monobob, or one person bobsleigh event, and the two-women event. While she was an alternate brakewoman during the team event in Pyeongchang, she didn't compet. The 31-year-old has excellent chances of getting on the podium in Beijing, having recently finished third in the World Championships in the monobob event. 

Photo: © TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

Ted-Jan Bloemen 

Netherlands-born Ted-Jan competed for the Dutch in speed skating events prior to 2014. Since switching to Canadian competition, he's won two Olympic medals – silver in the 5,000-metre event and gold in the 10,000-metre event in Pyeongchang. He's the reigning world champion in the 5,000-metre event, having taken gold in 2020. He has killer endurance and will be tough to beat in Beijing. 

Photo: © Elsa/Getty Images

Laurie Blouin

The 25-year-old Quebec City freestyler won silver in Pyeongchang and she wants to best that this time and end up on top of the podium. Since 2018, she's taken three silver medals and one gold at various snowboarding events. 

Photo: © Fred Lee/Getty Images

Kim Boutin 

The 27-year-old from Sherbrooke, Quebec picked up three short track speed skating medals in Pyeongchang in 2018, and she's a favourite to get on the podium in the 500-metre race and others in Beijing. 

Photo: © Douwe Bijlsma/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski 

This is Christine's second Winter Olympics, since she competed with Melissa Lotholz in the two-woman bobsled competition in Pyeongchang. Kristin is also in her second Olympics, having been an alternate with Christine's team in 2018. Since Pyeongchang, Christine and Kristen have won a silver in the mixed team world championships event in 2019, along with a bronze in the two-women event at the same competition. They also took a bronze at the 2020 world championships. There's a strong chance we'll see them with Olympic medals around their necks in Beijing. 

Photo: © TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

Canada's curling teams

Rachel Homan and John Morris (pictured in the top row below) will compete for Canada in the mixed doubles. John is a two-time Olympic champion, which Rachel has huge experience skipping for Canada's women's team, and their chances of getting on the podium are excellent. 

Brad Gushue (bottom left), who won a gold with the Canadian men's team in Turin in 2006, is back as skip for the men's side this time, while Jennifer Jones (bottom right), who led the Canadian women to gold in Sochi in 2014, is helming the women's side this time. 

Photos: © Chris Graythen/Getty Images, Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images, Todd Korol/Getty Images and Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Canada's women's hockey team 

Legend Hayley Wickenheiser won't be lacing up her skates for a retro this time around, since she's retired and is now a doctor. But Canada's women always thrill on the ice, and Beijing is expected to be no exception. Captained by 30-year-old three-time Olympian Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored the game-winning goals in the 2010 and 2014 Olympic gold medal games, the squad have their sights set on the top of the podium after taking silver in Pyeongchang in 2018. 

Photo: © Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Brooke D'Hondt 

Calgary-born Brooke is just 16 and could become a major star for Canada in Beijing as she competes in her first Olympics. She finished sixth at the X Games in 2020 when she was only 14, and even if she doesn't see the podium at these Games, she's sure to have an amazing athletic career ahead of her and will be one to watch in Olympics to come. 

Photo: © Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Laurent Dubreuil

The 29-year-old long track speed skater from Quebec City could take home his first ever Olympic medals this year. You can catch him blazing around the track in the 500-metre race, in which he recently set a Canadian record. 

Photo: © Derek Leung - International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier

After Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's breathtaking success at their final Olympics in 2018, Canada's ice dancers have big shoes – or, rather, skates – to fill. Piper and Paul took bronze at the 2021 World Championships and are strong favourites to have a podium finish in Beijing. This will be their second Olympics, having placed eighth in Pyeongchang. 

Photo: © Joosep Martinson - International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images

Charles Hamelin 

One of Canada's all-time greatest Winter Olympians, Charles is back for what may be the last time on the short track. He's won three gold medals and one silver and bronze throughout four Olympics, and he's looking to add to that tally in Beijing. 

Photo: © Christian Kaspar-Bartke - International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images

Rachael Karker

The 24-year-old Guelph, Ontario native is competing in her first Olympics and is a strong contender for Canada's medal hopes in the halfpipe freestyle skiing events, having won silver at the 2021 World Championships in addition to a silver and bronze at the 2020 Winter X Games. 

Photo: © Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Mikaël Kingsbury 

He's the moguls maven. Mikaël is the winningest freestyle moguls skier of all time. He medalled in 11 of the 12 world championships events in which he's competed throughout his career, and holds a silver and gold medal from previous Olympics. He's a favourite to top the podium again in Beijing and defend his title. 

Photo: © Lars Baron/Getty Images

Justin Kripps and Cam Stones 

Justin claimed gold in Canada's two-man event in Pyeongchang with Alexander Kopacz, and he's back to defend the title with Cam, who was on Canada's four-man team in 2018. The two are also part of the four-man team this time, too, so they have several solid chances to end up on the podium. 

Photo: © Tobias Hase/picture alliance via Getty Images

Valérie Maltais, Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann 

La Baie, Quebec native Valérie finished second in the 3000-metre short track relay event in Sochi in 2014 and she, Isabelle and Ivanie are the favourites in the team pursuit event this year. They picked p gold at the World Cup in Kazakhstan in 2020, along with five other golds at World Cup events in 2021. They'll be tough - if not impossible - to best on the track. 

Photo: © Derek Leung - International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images

Mark McMorris

Mark is nothing short of a snowboarding legend, having once made not one but two career comebacks after fracturing his leg in 2016 and a 2017 a crash that left him with a broken jaw, fractured pelvis, broken ribs, a collapsed lung and ruptured spleen. The Regina native recovered from those horrific accidents to take bronze in slopestyle in Pyeongchang – and he could well take silver or gold this time. 

Photo: © Daniel Karmann/picture alliance via Getty Images

Max Parrot

Like Mark McMorris, Max is a snowboarding legend. He's a seven-time X Games champion and took silver in slopestyle in Pyeongchang. He went on to take the same medal at the 2021 World Championships in the big air event in Aspen, and he's a favourite to pull in some snowboarding medals for Canada in Beijing.

Photo: © Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Marielle Thompson

Marielle finished first in ski cross in Sochi, and while it looked like she might not compete in Pyeongchang due to rupturing her ACL and MCL in training, she pushed through her event. Since then, she's won a gold medal at the 2019 World Championships, so she's raring to compete again in Beijing. It will be amazing to see her back in action after her recovery. 

Photo: © Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Sébastien Toutant 

Séb won the first ever gold medal in men's big air snowboarding at Pyeongchang – and he won it with a compressed disc in his back! He's looking to defend the title in Beijing. We'll also see him on the slopes in the slopestyle event. 

Photo: © Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

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