Canada won a historic bronze medal in mixed team ski jumping at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Monday.
The team, made up of Olympians Alexandria Loutitt, Abigail Strate, Matthew Soukup and Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes, earned Canada its sixth medal of the Games and its first Olympic win in the sport of ski jumping.
“This means so much to me, and I know how much it means to our country as well and the sport of ski jumping,” said Soukup at a news conference.
“I’m just so proud to be here with these three team-mates of mine.”
Canada’s score of 884.6 was enough to lock in bronze in a tight contest that saw the Russian Olympic Committee take home silver with a 890.3 score. Slovenia’s team won gold with a score of 1,001.5.
The mixed team event, which took place at the Zhangjiakou Ski Jump Centre, was making its Olympic debut at the Beijing Games.
Historically, Canada’s best finish in a ski jumping event was seventh in men’s individual large hill by Horst Bulau at the 1988 Games in Calgary.
Germany, which was one of the favourites to win, was disqualified after the first round because of an equipment violation by Katharina Althaus, who won silver for the second straight Olympics on Saturday.
Japan, with Olympic champion Ryoyu Kobayashi and star Sara Takanashi, finished fourth in the 10-nation field after Takanashi had a jump disqualified.
When asked if the disqualifications made it a bitter-sweet success for Canada, Strate laughed and said, “It was the sweetest success of all.”
Canada’s win also completed an incredible turnaround for Loutitt, who was disqualified after her first jump in Saturday’s individual event after weighing in too light.
“I was in tears on Saturday and I was in tears today for a very different reason, and it just shows what can happen in sport,” she said.
— with files from The Canadian Press and Reuters
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