Calgarians athletes took home seven medals at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. PHOTO: STEPHENK1977/WIKI COMMONS

Calgarian athletes shined during the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which ran from July 28 to Aug 8, leaving the host city of Birmingham, England with seven medals. 

Those made up a chunk of the 92 total Canada won at this year’s games, which took home a top-three ranking in total medals. 

Taking the top of the podium at the Commonwealth Games is nothing new for Canada — the country, one of only six to compete every time since the event began in 1930, has earned at least one gold from the start.

Six Calgarians earned seven of those 92 medals in events in the pool, on the court and on the cycling track. 

Stephen Calkins, whose retirement lasted two days before receiving the call to compete at the games, collected two bronze medals for swimming — both in a 4×100-metre freestyle relay — one in the men’s event and the other in the mixed event. 

The medals won in the pool didn’t end there, as divers Margo Erlam and Caeli McKay each won a bronze medal. Erlam won in the women’s synchronized three-metre springboard event, while McKay won the women’s 10-metre platform event.

Outside the pool, Calgary athletes won three medals. Jordan Jensen-Whyte made one final block on his opponent to help his team narrowly win the bronze medal in 3v3 men’s basketball, while Hannah Kaminski captured bronze in the women’s 49-kilogram weightlifting event. 

Calgary’s lone silver medal winner was Sarah Orban, who won in the women’s team sprint cycling event. 

Fellow Calgarian and former Commonwealth Games competitor Sam Effah — one of the co-Chefs de Mission, a sports term used to describe a person who leads a national delegation in international competitions — was thrilled by all Canada achieved at this year’s games. 

“The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games represented our time to shine and together, as a country and as a team, we collectively celebrated where we come from and all those who helped us on our journey,” Effah said in a press release. 

Although Canada succeeded at winning medals, the Games were not without significant challenges for the athletes. With the pandemic still looming large, event organizers decided to move athletes from a singular athletes’ village over to three separate campuses mid-planning cycle. 

Team Canada executive director Scott Stevenson, said this presented a new challenge, potentially impacting everything from logistics to team unity.

“Despite these new variables, I am proud of how our entire team remained agile, planned for the obstacles and created an athlete-centered environment where our Canadian athletes could shine,” he said in a press release.

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