TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada will send 313 athletes to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics determined to improve on the one gold medal won at the London Summer Games.
Trampolinist Rosie MacLennan, who won Canada’s only gold four years ago, is back to defend her Olympic title and will lead the team of 187 women and 126 men into the Rio Games opening ceremonies on Aug. 5 after earlier being named the country’s flag bearer.
The Canadian team, announced on Monday includes 100 athletes who have competed in at least one other Summer Games and Georgia Simmerling, who is attempting to become the first Canadian athlete to compete in a different sport at each of three Olympics.
Simmerling, who will be competing in track cycling at Rio, was a member of the Canadian freestyle ski-cross team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the Alpine ski team at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.
While Canada has featured at or near the top of the Winter Olympics medal standings, their efforts at the Summer Games have not been nearly as impressive with just 18 medals in London (one gold, five silver, 12 bronze) to sit well down the table in 36th place.
Lesley Thompson-Willie, a member of the Canadian women’s eights, will be competing in her eighth Olympic Games. She was also named to the Canadian team for the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.
At 56, Thompson-Willie will be the oldest member of the Canadian team while 16-year-old artistic gymnast Shallon Olsen will be the youngest.
Equestrian Ian Millar, who represented Canada at 10 Olympics, will not be in Rio but his daughter Amy will be in the saddle to carry on the family tradition.
Reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Larry Fine