As the 2016 Olympics in Rio approaches, Canadian athletes are setting their sights high this August. With the latest success story coming from Wimbledon as Milos Raonic soared passed Roger Federer on Friday in five close sets to stamp his place in Sunday mornings Final.
Two years ago, both Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic looked like they were going to be medal favorites for Canada as the phrase “Canada has reached new heights in Tennis” were being shouted on TSN on what seemed like a monthly basis. Currently, Canada has only secured one medal at the Summer Olympics. That went to Daniel Nester and Sébastien Lareau at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Success involving Men’s Tennis was few and far between before 2014. Since then, Raonic has catapulted onto the scene after reaching his first and hopefully of many Grand Slam Final appearances.
In fact, Raonic has dazzled not only the tennis world but also Canada so much that there is a good possibility that he will be Canada’s Flag Barer at the Opening Ceremonies on August 5th in Rio, regardless of what happens against the favorite Andy Murray on Sunday.
Not to be out done, the Canadian Men’s basketball team is making a strong push for the Summer Olympics, after winning their three-team group with a 2-0 record. Canada stands two wins away from their first berth at the Olympics since 2000.
In Canada’s way is a scrappy New Zealand team and potentially France in the Final. Last Wednesday, Canadian sports were peaking at an all-time high. With Ranoic’s quarterfinal game against American Sam Querrey and then 90 minutes later in a different continent was Canada’s match against Senegal. Canada has officially reached the “Gold standard” in sports and for a 20 minute period on Wednesday, Canadians were able to watch both events while currently knocking on the door of greatness.
There is no guarantee that Ranoic wins Wimbledon and the same can be said for the Canadian Men’s basketball team. However, with four NBA players on Team Canada, talent and interest is rising in the country for both sports on top of many others. In fact, a Canada win tomorrow morning against New Zealand, plus the Wimbledon Final, and the Olympic Qualifying Final will set a new standard. Both are in unprecedented territory on their quest for immortality. This is something that seemed unthinkable a decade ago but now is finally coming true.