Beyond the medals and all of the pomp and ceremony of an Olympic gathering there’s something which turns into far more compelling.
It’s the tales of the characters that mix to jot down every narrative of the Games, leaving an indelible mark and an enduring impression of the world’s largest, recurring spectacle.
This week’s version of Olympic Games Replay focuses on the outstanding moments which have occurred which could correctly be known as the human aspect of this gigantic sporting summit.
In quick, they’re the cases of unusual individuals who show able to creating extraordinary recollections and happenings which endure to grow to be iconic.
One such instance is the story of Canadian sailor Lawrence Lemieux, who grew up chasing the wind at Lake Wabumun, Alta., which is 65 km west of Edmonton.
While racing within the Finn class on the 1988 Olympics in South Korea, the seas received dangerously excessive off the coast of Busan. Lemieux was firmly in medal place and but modified course so as to come to assistance from a capsized boat belonging to athletes from Singapore.
WATCH | Lawrence Lemieux, 1988 Summer Olympics:
The Canadian managed to rescue Joseph Chan, who had grow to be separated from his craft, earlier than a coast guard patrol boat arrived to take the sailors from Singapore safely to shore.
Lemieux then rejoined the warmth solely to complete manner again and see his medal probabilities within the total collection of races evaporate. In ending 11th, he missed the rostrum however was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal which is never bestowed upon an athlete on the Games.
Inaugurated in 1964, the de Coubertin medal, named after one of many founders of the fashionable Olympics, exemplifies the spirit of sportsmanship. The International Olympic Committee calls it “one of the noblest honours that can be bestowed on an Olympic athlete.”
Lawrence Lemieux is the one Canadian athlete to be awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal and the late IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch had this to say when he made the presentation to Lemieux in Seoul.
“By your sportsmanship, self-sacrifice, and courage you embody all that is right with the Olympic ideal.”
WATCH | Lawrence Lemieux discusses coaching Olympians:
Years later, Lemieux mirrored on the uncommon honour in an understated manner.
“There’s no question that faced with the same situation, that I would do it all over again,” he mentioned through e-mail from his house in Seba Beach, Alta., the place he nonetheless sails to today.
“I never expected to win any award. I just saw a boat in trouble and knew they needed help. I was surprised when I received the Pierre de Coubertin medal. It was, and still is, a great honour. In sport the goal is to win, but there are some things which are more important than that.”
Eddie the Eagle achieves his dream
Previously on the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, a neophyte ski jumper representing Great Britain turned a beloved determine in Games’ historical past by ending lifeless final.
Michael “Eddie” Edwards was a plasterer by commerce and a pissed off alpine skier. With minimal funding, little help, and never a lot else apart from his gregarious nature, the bespectacled Edwards soared into individuals’s hearts, gained notoriety as “Eddie the Eagle,” and have become a form of cult determine for many years to return.
WATCH | Eddie the Eagles takes flight in 1988 Winter Games:
“People associated with me and could respond to the fact I was just a normal guy and not a top athlete,” the bubbling Edwards mentioned in a Zoom interview from his house in Stroud, England.
“I hope when they think of me, ‘Eddie the Eagle,’ at the Calgary Olympics, they’ll think about resilience, tenacity, and never giving up. I had to go through so many things, over and around so many things, but I still managed to achieve my dream of getting to the Olympic Games.”
Four moms from Saskatchewan
Ten years later in Nagano, Japan, the game of curling gained full-medal standing in Olympic competitors. Canada is acknowledged to be curling’s powerhouse nation and got here to these Games as overwhelming favourites to win gold in each males’s and ladies’s play.
While the Mike Harris rink from Ontario claimed silver, a gaggle of 4 younger moms from small-town Saskatchewan, led by the late skip Sandra Schmirler, captured the primary girls’s curling championship on the Olympics.
They turned prompt celebrities of their house province, throughout Canada, and even internationally as a result of Schmirler and her foursome got here to represent common girls who had inside themselves the potential to grow to be Olympic champions.
WATCH | Schmirler rink wins unprecedented Olympic gold:
“I think her legacy is that it’s OK to be ordinary,” marvelled Joan McCusker, who was a key member of the Schmirler gold medal group.
“It’s OK to be really competitive and to love to win and play sports. It’s OK to be who you are and to look the way you look. You don’t have to change anything to have this wonderful, successful, life.
“In the 22 years since we gained that gold medal I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of girls come as much as me and inform me that they may determine with us as a result of we had been finest pals. They knew how laborious it was for us to depart the home and our little children at house. They felt that they may do something as a result of we had achieved this.”
A selfless substitution
Moments of sacrifice are a common theme in Olympic lore and one that comes to mind involves long track speed skating at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
One of the favourites in the men’s 1000m race prior to the Games was Canadian Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C. But at the Olympic trials in Calgary mere weeks before travelling overseas, Morrison fell in the 1000m and failed to qualify for that event.
A winner of two previous medals, Morrison did, however, qualify for the 1500m, but the 1000m was his best chance at another podium finish in Russia.
Prior to the race, another Canadian speed skater, Gilmore Junio, who had also competed at the 500m distance, gave his spot in the 1000m to his more accomplished teammate Morrison.
WATCH | Morrison, Junio share story of belief, teamwork:
Then cheering from the grandstand, Junio witnessed Morrison win a silver medal and narrowly miss gold. The selfless substitution had paid sweet dividends for the Canadian team.
“It was so magical,” Junio beamed in a Zoom interview from Calgary as Denny Morrison listened in.
“I assumed I used to be in a Disney film to be trustworthy. This simply does not occur in actual life. It was a particular, particular, second. It reveals who we’re as Canadians. We need the most effective for our pals and our households.
“I’ve always said I’m going to cut that medal in half and give one half to Gilmore,” mentioned the now retired Morrison, who on the time felt strengthened by his teammate’s act of generosity.
Magic is the important thing phrase on this version of Olympic Games Replay.
In an period the place a lot of what occurs in sport is ruled by quantifiable science with the result usually predictable, these are the uncommon events that create not solely a way of surprise but additionally amazement whereas taking up a lifetime of their very own.
Quite merely, they embody a lot of the Olympic legend.
Remarkable Olympic Moments can be streamed dwell at cbcsports.ca and broadcast throughout the CBC tv community Saturday, July 18, 2020 at three p.m. Check native listings in your space.